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Spells or Attacks?Follow

#1 Feb 08 2011 at 3:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Having gone through the latest beta and now experimenting with the soul calculator, I am running into a distinct problem. Primarily, it stems from the terminology used in the soul calculator:

Many talents will say something to the effect of "Increases Spell Damage by X%", but where do I discover whether my attacks are classified as spells or not? Is there some definitive way to determine whether a magic based melee attack is in fact a spell, or are all melee attacks not considered spells? Can anyone help shed some light on the subject?

Thank you.
#2 Feb 08 2011 at 4:40 PM Rating: Good
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Most likely anything that does not require a weapon is a spell. However, as you mentioned it may be that melee attacks that do elemental damage may count... however it is most likely the former. I can't give you an official answer though, sorry.
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#3 Feb 08 2011 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Yeah I know, it is a rather obscure distinction, which is why I am trying to determine ahead of time what kind of build I want. I am going cleric as my main, but that means I can go all out melee offense, all out heals, all out defense/survivability, or a mixture of all of these. I would love to know if the spell power or spell crit directly affects some of the Shaman/Druid abilities and whatnot, so this is a rather important topic. I would have to say that clerics will probably run into this issue more than the other classes, but it would be nice to have a definitive answer.
#4 Feb 08 2011 at 5:46 PM Rating: Decent
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All of the cleric melee souls have a base ability that increases their physical attack power and physical crit chance by their spell power and spell crit.

Are there are spells or abilities that you find to be particularly ambiguous? Because most of the cleric abilities seems fairly straight forward.

Justicar's Strike of Judgement deals "weapon damage plus x to y life damage." That life damage is based on spell power power, and will be mitigated by an enemy's life resistance and not their armor. Shaman's Lightning Hammer deals "weapon plus x to y physical damage in addition to dealing z air damage over 6 seconds." The physical damage bonus of x to y is augmented by their attack power (and therefore indirectly by spell power since the courage buffs give spell power to attack power) and is mitigated by an enemy's armor. The additional air damage they do on that attack is based on their spell power, and is mitigated by an enemy's air resistance not their armor.
#5 Feb 08 2011 at 7:22 PM Rating: Decent
15 posts
I would reckon any abilities that require a weapon, including ones that do non-physical damage, would be considered attacks. It would more or less be irrelevent for Druids, Shamans, and Justicars considering they have a buff to turn their spell stats into physical stats. I haven't seen any Cleric soul trees that have a Spell Damage talent, only things like +Int, Wis, or Spell Power.

For example I would say the Druid ability Bombard is a spell, while Fervant Strike or the first Justicar ability (forget the name, does weapon damage+ as life damage) is an attack.

Forgot to submit my post, got beat to it.

Edited, Feb 8th 2011 8:22pm by Treys
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#6 Feb 08 2011 at 7:34 PM Rating: Decent
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I have a whakcer stick. It is made out of wood. When I bap something over the head with it, I am doing physical damage to them. If I imbue that whacker stick with the almighty powers of thunder and whack something over the head with it, I am doing physical damage but the floppy chicken my target is doing and the smell of singed flesh? That's from the magic damage.

General rule of thumb: if the tooltip for the ability mentions air, earth, fire, water, life, or death damage, it's spell damage. If the tooltip mentions weapon damage without reference to any of the elements listed above, it's physical damage. If the tooltip says weapon damage + damage from one of the elements listed above, it's both physical and magical damage.
#7 Feb 08 2011 at 7:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Warchief Treys wrote:
I would reckon any abilities that require a weapon, including ones that do non-physical damage, would be considered attacks.

The shaman buff that adds water damage to your attack is definitely spell damage.

Attacks can include both physical and spell components, and this is often the case with the melee cleric paths.
#8 Feb 08 2011 at 9:47 PM Rating: Decent
15 posts
Vengeance of the Winter Storm would not apply here as it's a buff, which tacks on some spell damage to your melee abilities.

Strike of Judgement's tool-tip: "A chiding strike that deals weapon plus 9 to 11 Life damage". To me, that sounds like it's taking your weapon damage, adding 9 to 11 and dealing it all as Life damage. Considering their Cavalier buff (and the respective buffs Shaman and Druids get that has the same effects) already turns your spell power into attack power, I would think that they would only benefit from attack power, otherwise they would be double-dipping getting the benefits from both attack and spell power, and that is something I don't think to be the case.

If Strike of Judgement does not work this way and in fact deals weapon damage as physical and an additional 9 to 11 life damage, then Trion needs to make their tool-tips a little clearer. "Weapon damage plus an additional 9 to 11 life damage" or "weapon damage plus 9 to 11 as life damage" is all it would take to clear this up. If the latter is the case there should be two combat log entries for every Strike of Judgement, and as far as I remember there's only one.

Lightning Hammer is a completely different story. It has a weapon plus x to y physical damage (which should only benefit from attack power) and then it applies a DoT doing Air damage (which should only benefit from spell power).

The more I type the more I'm losing focus on what I'm getting at so I'm done. I guess we need some clarification, from Trion preferably, as to if Cleric dps souls double-dip for melee attacks that do magic damage.

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#9 Feb 08 2011 at 9:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Warchief Treys wrote:
Strike of Judgement's tool-tip: "A chiding strike that deals weapon plus 9 to 11 Life damage". To me, that sounds like it's taking your weapon damage, adding 9 to 11 and dealing it all as Life damage. Considering their Cavalier buff (and the respective buffs Shaman and Druids get that has the same effects) already turns your spell power into attack power, I would think that they would only benefit from attack power, otherwise they would be double-dipping getting the benefits from both attack and spell power, and that is something I don't think to be the case.

I see how you can see it as reading "converts weapon damage into entirely magic damage." Though I think that's the coutner-intuitive assumption, it is plausible. Even then it doesn't double dip.
#10 Feb 08 2011 at 10:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Warchief Treys wrote:

Strike of Judgement's tool-tip: "A chiding strike that deals weapon plus 9 to 11 Life damage". To me, that sounds like it's taking your weapon damage, adding 9 to 11 and dealing it all as Life damage.


You distribute the word 'damage'. It is like doing math. The way you are reading it actually says you deal 'weapon' (whatever that is) plus 9 to 11 life damage.

Imagine a missing parentheses. "deals (weapon + 9 to 11 Life) damage" That reads exactly the same way your 'clarified version' reads.

I guess clarifying it makes sense but their wording is proper and as far as I have ever seen, kosher as well.

And on the converting stats into other stats. Yes you will be double dipping but if you have enough magic damage to make the percent you get out of it SIGNIFICANT you probably do not have a comparable attack damage so it evens out.
#11 Feb 09 2011 at 1:06 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
One of my favorite aspects of having talent/specialization trees in the first place is the ability to really maximize your potential in the areas that you are concerned with. Mastery of a class is achieved not only by playing the class with skill, but also in knowing all of the mechanics that affect your class' performance.

Granted, it is still in beta, and "mastery" cannot claimed to be achieved by anyone. I would, however, like to be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the principal dynamics of the terminology and mechanics in general.

Worst case scenario: there is no final answer here and I just test the results in-game as soon as I get the chance. I just figured I would ask and see if anyone was aware of a conclusive answer.
#12 Feb 09 2011 at 10:54 PM Rating: Decent
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The combat log lists Strike of Judgement as a single hit for Life damage on my Cleric in Alpha, so it would appear to do what I initially thought.

One thing I always liked about Blizzard is they give out the calculations used for their skills, so discussions like this can have some official finality. Trion should follow suit.
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