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Combat mechanics (Dragon Age II)

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For combat mechanics in Dragon Age: Origins, see Combat mechanics (Origins).

Combat mechanics comprise the technical details relevant to combat in Dragon Age II.

Damage Edit

Damage is the value assigned to the damage effect. When the effect is applied to a creature, it has a couple other things that modify it. These are steps done on the creature when the effect is processed.

Order of operations for damage Edit

Each is a separate step.

 Base Weapon Damage (in the weapon description, not including on-hit bonuses)
 + Primary Attribute Modifier (0.5 per point over 10)
 * Ability Damage Factor (Winter's Grasp is 4.48833 for example)
 * Hit Result Modifier (1.0 for normal hits, 1.5+ for critical hits)
 + Berserk Bonus Damage
 * Damage Type Modifier (stuff like +15% fire damage)
 * Blood Frenzy/Veneer of Calm Modifier (1.0-2.0)
 * Cross class Combo Multiplier (if applicable)
  • Dual-wield weapons hit individually. Basic attacks usually alternate which weapon hits, and abilities usually hit with both (to avoid biasing towards one hand or the other). The "Base Weapon Damage" as well as what on-hit properties apply is determined by which weapon hit with that particular strike. There is no penalty or other trickery involved with calculating dual weapon damage.
  • Ability damage works the same for all the classes.
  • Accessories with +X% to *TYPE* damage modify a character property, which is included in the "Damage Type Modifier" step.
  • On-hit bonuses are applied, when hit with an appropriate weapon (basic attacks, a lot of Warrior and Rogue abilities), it looks at the individual weapon that caused the hit. It runs through each of the on-hit properties on that weapon and applies its effect. So a staff with the following properties:
 Staff
 69 fire damage per hit (whatever DPS)
 +10% spirit damage
 +7 electricity damage
 2.5% chance to stun normal enemies for 3s
  • You hit with a basic attack. It processes that attack normally, applying damage, force and secondary effects from other abilities/modes you may have on you. Then it checks the weapon for on-hit properties. In this case, that's electricity damage and chance to stun. The damage it just applies straight, the stun it checks against the percentile chance of it happening before applying.

Damage effect Edit

Damage Effect determines how much damage the creature takes and what number appears above its head. That's not the actual amount of health deducted from it, though, since that is abstracted a bit to allow for better scaling between difficulty levels.

 Damage
 * Templar Damage Bonus (vs fade creatures/spellcasters)
 * Damage Type Resistance Modifier (armor, fire, resistance, etc.)
 * Damage Resistance Modifier (flat damage resistance)
 * Magic Resistance Modifier (flat magic resistance)
 * Rear Vulnerability Modifier (Shield Defense gives this unless you upgrade it)
 * Blindside Modifier
 * Brittle Modifier (if a critical hit)
 * Damage Redirection Modifier (if Aveline absorbs damage from the target, etc.)

Armor and resistances Edit

Armor and resistances decrease the amount of damage a character takes, it is always measured in a percentage resistance. All types of resistances are cumulative.

Damage type resistance is, as the name suggests, based on the type of damage received. Armor decreases physical damage, fire resistance reduces fire damage etc. These values are only affected by item bonuses that add an amount of armor/resistance, from this amount the percentage resistance is calculated based on the characters' level. It is worth noting that this type of resistance can't exceed 95%, although higher values might be shown on screen.

Magic resistance determines how much damage a character can disregard from a magical attack, as well as determining the duration of hostile magical effects. However, it is only half as effective against spirit damage.

Damage resistance reduces all damage regardless the type or source. However, as with magic resistance, it is only half as effective against spirit damage.

Note : Unlike Origins, Armor and Defense receives a substantial penalty when facing elites and bosses, which favors a DPS heavy party setup. This makes it very difficult to make characters that are hard to kill without relying on damage resistance from talents. With sufficient damage/force, you can even stun lock enemies and kill them without them being able to attack back as they will constantly get interrupted.

Attack/defense calculation Edit

Formula Edit

Values for attack and defense are calculated using the following formula:

StatLevel = (Attribute - 10) / ScalingCoefficient
StatValue1 = PropertyData(INTEGER_PART(StatLevel))
StatValue2 = PropertyData(INTEGER_PART(StatLevel) + 1)
StatValue = StatValue1 + FRACTIONAL_PART(StatLevel) x (StatValue2 - StatValue1)
  • Attribute is Cunning for defense, Strength (warrior), Dexterity (rogue), or Magic (mage) for attack.
  • ScalingCoefficient is 1.0 for defense and 1.25 for attack (defined in 2da.rim/property_functions.gda file).
  • PropertyData(i) is taken from Property Data table from the i-th row.

Example Edit

Let's calculate the attack value for a rogue with a dexterity attribute of 88. StatLevel is (88 - 10) / 1.25 = 62.4. StatValue1 is 4331. StatValue2 is 4653. The resulting attack value is 4331 + 0.4 x (4653 - 4331) = 4459.8.

Due to diminishing returns, it is best to increase attack via your class's primary attribute till you stop getting +1% hit chance per point spent, then spend the remaining attribute points into other stats. +% hit chance from talents and spells will add a flat hit chance that is not subjected to dimishing returns.

E.G. If a character has 80% hit chance vs bosses and activates a talent that adds +10% hit chance, he will now have 90% hit chance vs bosses.

Note : Unlike Origins, Armor and Defense receives a substantial penalty when facing elites and bosses, which favors a DPS heavy party setup. This makes it very difficult to make characters that are hard to kill without relying on damage resistance from talents. With sufficient damage/force, you can even stun lock enemies and kill them without them being able to attack back as they will constantly get interrupted.

Possible bug : A warrior has a base dodge chance of 5%, but any abilities that increase defense such as Turn the Blade will only increase the dodge chance by the stated amount - 5%. Unlike talents/spells that increase hit chance equally regardless of enemy rank, defense increasing talents/spells will only increase the dodge chance vs normal enemies which is then modified by the rank penalty.

Attack speed Edit

Attack speed (hits per second) for different weapon types is defined in 2da.rim/itm_base.gda:

  • Bows: 0.94
  • Daggers: 1.85
  • Staves: 1.36
  • Two-handed weapons: 1.64
  • Weapon & Shield: 1.88

It can also be calculated by dividing displayed DPS by damage.

Threat Edit

Threat is handled very differently compared to Origins. In Origins, a warrior in massive armor and using threaten was enough to hold aggro for most enemies without the player needing to resort to skils like taunt or disengage. In Dragon Age 2, this is no longer true. Enemies seem to heavily favor targeting the closest target and especially characters attacking them. They also appear to switch targets much less often, as it takes them a long time to switch targets from the character they first see to the tank behind him.

Attempts to use upgraded Battle Synergy combined with Shield Defense to draw threat proved ineffective as enemies would repeatedly target the melee rogue instead of the tank when they were side by side, despite the tank having +100% threat generation and 50% threat transfer. Taunt appears to be the only thing that will consistently draw threat from enemies, but the cooldown and the way enemies arrive in waves (typically waves that surround the party) make it quite difficult to reliably maintain aggro on the party tank. This heavily favors a party setup that emphasizes killing enemies as quickly as possible (preferably using two handed warriors to draw threat from being in melee) that can take a decent amount of damage but clear enemies quickly at the same time.

Regeneration Edit

All characters will regenerate health and mana/stamina each second by a fixed amount that depends on class and the maximum amount of that resource. The amount of regeneration can be increased by items, spells/talents with +X Y regeneration rate property, where X is an amount and Y is either health or mana/stamina. The formula for percentage per second is

+(X*0.01)% from base Y per second

where base Y is the maximum amount of the resource (e.g. +100 health regeneration rate is equivalent to +1% from base health per second, so a character with a health bar of 400 would regenerate 4 health per second.) Since you need at least +100 regeneration and a large health/mana/stamina pool to get noticeable regeneration, it is best to not try and stack regeneration via talents/items since they typically give very low amounts of regeneration.

In addition, rogues gain stamina on every auto-attack and warriors gain stamina upon every kill.

Health regeneration Edit

  • Warrior base health regeneration: 0.25%
  • Rogue base health regeneration: 0.1%
  • Mage base health regeneration: 0.1%

Mana/stamina regeneration Edit

  • Warrior base stamina regeneration: 0.2%
  • Rogue base stamina regeneration: 0.2%
  • Mage base mana regeneration: 0.3%
  • Warrior kill stamina generation: +10% per rank (Critter = 1, Normal = 2, Lieutenant = 3, Boss = 4, Elite Boss = 5)
  • Rogue basic attack stamina regeneration
    • Dual weapon: +1% (prior to patch 1.03 it was +0.25%)
    • Archery: +2% (prior to patch 1.03 it was +0.5%)
The following method may be used to calculate which is most efficient on a piece of equipment for +Mana/Stamina versus +Mana/Stamina Regeneration:
Ratio = [(+Mana/Stamina Regeneration)*(Current Mana)*0.0001]/[(+Mana/Stamina)*(Current Regeneration)]
  • If the ratio is greater than one, it is most efficient to use the +Mana/Stamina Regeneration piece. If the ratio is less than one, it is most efficient to use the +Mana/Stamina piece. If the ratio is equal to one, both are equally efficient. Due to the very low amounts of regeneration that can be obtained in the game, it is almost always more efficient to increase mana/stamina.

See also Edit

External links Edit

Lead Game Designer Peter Thomas on Dragon Age II Combat mechanics http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/315/index/6578772

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