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General Game Resources
Damage is any effect from an action which results in a target losing health. Damage is considered to be one of the three facets the Guild Wars 2 combat system is built around, the others being support and control. All professions are able to deal damage in a useful way, mostly by using skills.
Damage is affected by your character's attributes, traits and equipment as well as any boons or conditions on them. Positioning can also affect damage when using certain skills.
Direct damage is mitigated by the opponent's armor, which may be improved by the Toughness attribute and reduced by Vulnerability.
Misses result in no damage, nor any harmful effects applied. Attacks can miss due to dodging, blocking, Aegis, Blind or the target being out of range.
Invulnerable hits are due to the target being immune to damage, generally from Invulnerability.
Reflected hits redirect the damage and effects back at the attacker.
Some combos increase damage by changing the damage type or adding a harmful condition.
Some conditions deal non-mitigated damage over time, enhanced by the attribute Malice and lengthened by Expertise. These can deal damage in the following ways:
Life sacrifice occurs voluntarily upon activation of certain specific skills, removing a percentage of the user's health.
Falling hurts more the farther you fall.
Damage calculation is normalized to the current combat level, then to keep things overly simple, they presumably feature "attack power" (i.e. attack (player statistic)) and damage rating for the attacking source against "armor toughness" (i.e. armor (player statistic) for the target's defense, as further described in the sections below. Actual values are those at the moment of the attack for the source, and when hit for the defense.
To sum up, a damage source of the same rating may skyrocket on a soft target of lower level (like a passing rabbit for instance), but only grazes a hardened champion or during a boss fight, even on a critical hit. Many traits will enhance, often in unique ways, one aspect of the above ways of dealing damage, on top of directly improving two attributes, among which many are directly tied to damage calculations. Some upgrade components also can have such impact, especially in armor sets properties.
An attack will either hit or miss, and even possibly be reflected, but once it has effectively reached its target(s), damage is applied and calculated independently per target.
Other damage sources (noticeably areas of effect or harmful conditions and combos) have triggers upon which a hit is inflicted or not.
Each damage source gets a separate calculation for each hit, as shown on the user interface by different damage numbers or hit indications.
On the user interface, messages appear to indicate to the player whether they hit the target or not. Melee attacks can miss due to not being within melee range of a target. Ranged projectiles can be out of range, evaded due to a player dodging or moving, blocked by terrain or skills, or intercepted by a foe in between the target and the attacker.
Each skill has a range associated with it; whether the character is in range of a target is indicated on the user interface. Melee attacks and other point blank skills require the target be close to the character or the placed area of effect to deal instantaneous damage. While ranged attacks must travel to a specific target or target location before applying damage.
Thus, if the number under a skill on the skill bar is red, the target is out of range for that skill. While a ground-targeted area of effect skill's targeting interface will turn red if the targeted area is out of range.
Cross combos create an additional source of damage to the current hit, which will have its own calculation process.
For example, an arrow (combo finisher : physical projectile) sent through a Static Field (combo field : lightning) or Poison Cloud (combo field : poison) will respectively add lightning damage or a stack of poison condition to that specific ranged attack.
It is unknown if combo damage satisfy to critical and glancing mechanisms.
Damage shown in skill descriptions and tooltips takes into account current traits, level-related skill tier, and gear specifics. It is further modified by circumstantial parameters (boons, conditions, position, etc.).
...from weapon skill
The skill damage is modified by the current weapon in hand (not those equipped). In fact, that weapon's damage range (both min and max values) are compared to the norm for the wielder's level. The resulting weapon rating directly impacts the combined damage rating for each weapon skill.
...from condition damage
Condition damage has a fixed damage rating for each type of condition and is universally independent of mitigation (both armor and level). Such a harmful condition will deal its stacked damage rating with each pulse until removed or elapsed.
Pulse can occur regularly, in the case of health degeneration, while others will depend on a certain trigger (upon hit or upon skill activation).
Mitigation is a damage modifier (multiplier) applied to direct damage : armor and level are the two known types of damage mitigation.
The Attack (player statistic) is pitted against the defense's Armor (player statistic) to determine which percentage of the damage potential will reduce the target's health.
Note that some attacks may have a piercing property (for instance, Coated Bullets allow an engineer's pistol shots to pierce), probably similar to Vulnerability + in reducing armor effectiveness.
Damage multiplier is another main damage modifier, generally associated to the perceived quality of a hit. Normal hits possess a x1 damage multiplier, but for instance, there are several probabilities for them to become either critical or glancing hits depending on the situation at hand.
...against protected targets
The Protection boon provides a 33% damage reduction (x2/3 multiplier) from any source.
...from glancing hits
At a chance, based on unknown circumstances and Weakness, a normal hit may occur instead as a glancing one, which results in 50-75% reduced damage (a multiplier of x0.5 to x0.75).
...from critical hits
At a chance, based on critical chance (player statistic) and other modifiers (like the Fury boon), a normal hit may become a critical hit, which results in a damage multiplier of minimum x1.5 (plus Prowess). The bonus cap is still unrevealed.
Some flanking attacks get damage bonuses, mainly as a Thief or a shortbow-wielding Ranger. Physical projectiles gain more momentum damage from higher origins, though the current formula is yet unknown.
Grimes: All fright guys, i'm of again this weekend, won't be back home till sometime on Monday, meaning i will miss guild missions. http://www.chippingsteamfair.co.uk/
Loren Michael: SBI State of the Server meeting on Saturday, 5pm EST
Damarus: See GW2 - 9 months later at the bottom of the page
Grimes: friggin typos probably*
Grimes: GReat night lastnight. My head was thrashed with all the meds im on right now, it was probablt me who started the puzzle not thinking straight. So sorry about that guys.
Loren Michael: Great job with the missions last night, guys! <3
Damarus: Grats MiM
Damarus: Has started, see bottom of page
Damarus: Todays tourny stream can be found at the bottom of the page
Loren Michael: CONGRATS GUARDIAN!!! Hope its a great day for you guys! =D
Pocket Knight: WvW was super fun last night. did you ever get that Omega Golgem up Canis?
Canis: Going to be running a WvW group tonight. Our goal will be to claim a tower and defend it during the reset!