Sunday, December 21, 2008

Skill Coefficients 101: Direct Damage and Instant Cast Skills

So, before I get into this next block of blog, I would like to setup some basic definitions.

Coefficient: in a MMO sense, this is the percentage if it's scaling statistic that gets added to the skills damage.
Casting Time: easy one. This is the time it takes to cast a spell or skill. Also known as a Buildup Time.
DPS: an acronym for Damage Per Second or Damage/Second.
GCD: as I will be referring to this often, this is the acronym for Global Cooldown, as I understand it is currently set to 1.4 seconds or the casting time of the skill if it's cast time is less than 1.4 seconds.
BS: short for Ballistic Skill.
White Mice: for some reason, when I hit Chaos they bleed white mice! This has no bearing on what I'm talking about, I just thought I'd share.

Also, here are the formulae for calculating a few stats which we'll need.

Ballistic Skill: +DPS = ( Skill / 5 )
Strength: +DPS = ( Skill / 5 )
Toughness: -DPS = ( Skill / 5 )

Hard huh?

Warhammer Online makes it ridiculously easy to calculate coefficients. Why? Well, because stats yield +DPS to specific skills, rather than than some arbitrary coefficient that only the Devs understand.

By calculating the +DPS given by a particular attribute and multiplying said value by the cast time of the skill, it will yield the spell coefficient. This works fine and dandy for casted direct damage skill, but DoTs or Half-and-Halfs make it harder. For now, we'll stick to the basic skill from Rifleman, Core, and Grenadier, the kinda skills that you use most the time, and move on from there!

Here's the skills we'll calculate to whet your appetite!
Gun Blast
Spanner Swipe
Hip Shot
Fire Bomb

This list will work for now. What I'm trying to establish, before I just throw out a list of Skills and Numbers, is how we got these numbers. Understanding the process is just as important as knowing the answer! Hah! It's my blog, I get to push my ideals on you!

Direct Damage Skills

Anyhow, let's start with Gun Blast. It's easy! It has a medium cast time! It deals direct damage! For now, I'll be using the paper doll tooltips of the skill at level 25, which means that you are a level 40 Engineer who has no mastery points in Rifleman.

Gun Blast
level 25
40 Action Points
2 second cast
Deals 299 damage to an enemy target.

Nice. Simple. Short. Sweet!

Let's say you are shooting at a target with 0 armor(got hit by an Ironbreaker and Chuck Norris simultaneously) and has 0 toughness(which I'll explain later). Additionally, you have 0 Ballistic Skill(yeah, you're that bad!)

You press the button. 2 seconds later, the enemy will be hit by a bullet that deals 299 damage. Now, let's add some Ballistic Skill. You equip "Uber Jerkin of the Hardcore Ranger +100" which increases your Ballistic Skill by 100(whoudathunkit?)

So, getting out +DPS value on the 100 BS is simple(refer to the beginning of the article if you need help =P): +DPS = ( Skill / 5 ). Pulling out my TI-89 Graphing Calculator, as I don't do mathz in my head, I read our +DPS being 20.

Now, here's where the tricksy part comes in; since Gun Blast has a 2 second casting time, i.e. you could, without server latency, fire the skill every 2 seconds, it means we should get ( 2 seconds * +DPS value ) = 40 damage to each cast. Hence, we get, instead of 299 damage, we get 339 damage.

This last section gives us a handy formulae to calculate spell coefficients for Direct Damage skills;

Coefficient = (( Scaling Statistic / 5 ) * Casting Time ) / Scaling Statistic.

To apply this to our previous paragraph, it would be ( ( ( 100 / 5 ) * 2 ) / 100 ) = .40 = 40% coefficient. So, at any time, so see how much extra damage to Gun Blast you'd get from a piece of armor, just multiply the +Ballistic Skill on the armor by .40 and you got your answer!

Let's run the Fire Bomb through this formulae, assuming +100 Ballistic Skill;
Fire Bomb Coefficient = ( ( ( 100 / 5 ) * 1 ) / 100 ) = 20%

Instant Cast Skills

Instant Cast skills work a little differently. Since they do not have a cast time we cannot divide by it! But, we have something that works; the GCD! This is the cooldown that instant cast skills must have before the can be reused. Having this GCD is the same as the skill taking that long to cast. The Warhammer Online GCD is 1.4 seconds.

So, the above forumulae still applies; we just have to use the GCD instead of the non-existant cast time. Here are Hipe Shot and Spanner Swipes coefficients, using +100 Ballistic Skill and +100 Strength, respectively.

Hip Shot =
( ( ( 100 / 5 ) * 1.4 ) / 100 ) = 28%
Spanner Swipe =
( ( ( 100 / 5 ) * 1.4 ) / 100 ) = 28%

Both of these skills will get 28% of their scaling statistic added to the damage dealt when used.

What to Watch For!

Now, this all looks great on paper, but in game is different. Why? Well, because of Toughness! Toughness allows the enemy to "mitigate", in a way, our scaling stats. In it's most basic sense, for each 1 point of Toughness they have is the same as -1 Ballistic Skill, Strength, and Intelligence. This makes testing these values in game somewhat difficult.

Do not despair! If you really have the hankering to try these formulae, try and hook up with a friend that plays the opposite Army as you. You can test to your hearts desire!

Coming Up Next!

Next, I'll be working on "Skill Coefficients 102: Damage over Time". These are trickier to calculate, and to be honest I have not really worked on it, but that will be the next post.

I'll also go through each of the Engineers skills, find their scalling statistic, and calculate the damage coefficient. Just for you!

Cheers mates, keep on engineerin'!
Papa Gwan

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


As in World of Warcraft!

Now, I intended to make this blog primarily Warhammer, and it will remain as such, but I cannot help but interject some general MMO'ing in here.

So you know a little more about me as a gamer, I played World of Warcraft from Release up until about 8 months ago. I played fairly serious. Not in a raiding sense, but in a timesink sense. Over the three or four years of release, I leveled several classes to 70; Warrior, Druid, and Paladin. Rogue is almost there!

Out of curiosity, I ran over to to check out the latest patch notes. Besides a huge talent rewrite, can you guess what I saw as some highlights? Well, here they are!
-Implemented an Achievement system, where players can claim various rewards by unlocking achievements for in game accomplishments. What a unique idea!
-Implemented a Guild Calender in game! Genius!
-Oh yeah, guess what? Knockbacks have been implemented in a previously knockback-free game!
Now, I understand that games do evolve, and some great ideas become standard. I don't really begrudge Blizzard for stealing such obvious ideas from Mythic; after all, how many opened up WAR for the first time and said "Huh...looks just like WoW!"? My problem is that Blizzard Devs have the gall to just steal the ideas, implement them, then criticize Mythic's game and Devs blatantly! Here's a link you may enjoy reading, if you're into MMO gaming news;

Sure, I know there's two sides to the story, but that sure as hell doesn't excuse battering WAR because of some personal disagreements.

In case anyone is wondering why I left WoW, it is simple; money. Not the money for a subscription, money for the expansions or anything like that, but money is, unfortunately, the focus of Blizzard.

I remember back in the day, Blizzard was so focused on making the best MMO there was they took ages to come out with WoW. Unfortunately for me, I found out about WoW shortly after it was announced, meaning I had quite a few years of torment while waiting for release. After many a year, this groundbreaking game hit the ground running.

I took my time leveling, enjoyed the years of play and updates. The something terrible happened; bloated from the money they had earned from WoW's release, Blizzard threw together the single worst expansion in the history of gaming! The Burning Crusade was hastily made and comprised mostly of rep grinds, money sinks, and an amalgam of other time sinks. On top of that, most items obtained from said sinks were "fluffy" items, meaning they only take time to get and are mostly useless.

The second problem was that the Expansion was so poorly designed in terms of itemization, it was no longer World of Warcraft, more World of EPICcraft! Gear dictated everything, which was most unfortunate.

Greed, greed, greed...That's all Blizzard represents these days. Why did a large amount of higher level staff leave the company to found their own company? See

WAR is a piece of art; the labor of love of many developers, their world manifested. It is rich in lore and history, complete with the TT game in all it's glory. I watched as Blizzard became corrupted by greed, time will tell if Mythic will follow the same path!

Papa Gwan

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Updated Weapon Skill Chart!

Heya lads!

Check out my previous post "Theorycrafting 101: Weapon Skill vs. Ballistic Skill". I have added an addendum to the primary post, showing a different outlook on the Weapon Skill Chart. It shows, rather than strait armor reduction, the +damage you get against a set damage and armor value.

Papa Gwan, the Kitchen Philosopher

Friday, October 31, 2008

Of things to come!

Heya lads,

I wanted to throw this out there so you know what to expect from this blog. I'm not, by nature, an organized person, however this is a small "calender" of sorts to indicate what my next posts are going to be about.

There are many concerns/theorycrafting that needs to be addressed concerning the Engineer. I have charts to write, theories to test and, most importantly, the damn game to play so I can bring you this state-of-the-art knowledge! Believe it or not, having a good time in game is more important to me than dissecting it!

So to start, I plan to publish an exhaustive chart showcasing Engineer damage coefficients. This is an undertaking and, since my play time is not unlimited, I'll be taking it in sections. I'll start with 'Core' Engineer skills, then progress through the mastery trees. It takes alot of time to thoroughly test these numbers, so it will take time.

I am also in the process of writing a complete Engineer guide, from level 1-40! The largest problem is that I do not want to write a guide without being 40 myself; I consider than somewhat fallacious! So, while I have a good chunk of the guide complete, it will not be ready in it's easy-to-navigate PDF goodness until I have actually reached rank 40 and have made final tweaks to it. Another problem is that I will likely include many of the charts and diagrams in with it and I will likely have completed those on this site rather than do them *for* the guide.

So, I think I have a full platter for now; complete coefficients chart, Engineer guide, and actually getting to level 40! I also need to append my previous "Theorycrafting 101: Ballistics vs. Weapon Skill" to make the charts more meaningful.

Anyhow, hopefully that'll give you an idea of what's to come!
Papa Gwan

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

AoE Grinding 101: Basics

Heya lads!

Here is my shameless plug! I made an AoE Grinding Video recently, finally got it posted. It is an overview of the basics of AoE Grinding at level 29+ as a Grenadier.
AoE Grinding 101!
Things to note:
-Grind in PQ area after prime time; lots of mobs to be had and the extra influence is a plus!
-Keep "Flak Jacket" up and use "Ancestral Inheritance" for the extra mitigation.
-Use a solid set of wounds/toughness gear. You should have around 5500+ health by rank 29 if you stack wounds! In the video I only have 4500, but that's because I have been playing Rifleman and don't need to stack wounds.

Anyhow, check it out, might be useful for you!
Papa Gwan

Theorycrafting 101: Ballistics vs. Weapon Skill

Welcome to Theorycrafting 101!

This is a comparison between Weapon Skill & Ballistic Skill: which you should stack and when! Firstly, I am going to lay down the base formulae for all of the stats I am going to use. Next, I'll pump out some basic data using a simple calculator and the formulae. Then, since I'm such a nice guy, I'll organize the data into charts for ya'! Ain't I great?

Note, this is for Rifleman. I'll likely do a Grenadier rundown later, but Rifleman is more demanding at this time.

So, the formulae:
Weapon Skill: Armor Penetration % = ( ( ( Weapon Skill / ( ( Level * 5 ) +50 ) ) * .25 ) * 100 )
All we care about on this one is the Armor Penetration. This makes it so our Rifle shots go through some of the targets armor, effectively dealing more damage. Is it good? Better than Ballistics? Got you on the seat of your pants? Lets read on!
Ballistic Skill: +DPS = ( Ballistic SKill / 5 )
Easy one! +DPS means that you can multiply casttime * +DPS to figure out how much damage will be added to said skill. For instance, say Gun Blast deals 400 damage base. With +100 Ballistic Skill, you get +20 DPS. 20 * 2 seconds = 40. Gun Blast now deals 440 damage. Easy enough? Good!
Armor Mitigation: Physical Damage Reduction% = ( ( .9083 / 40 ) * Armor Value )
The above formula is calculated assuming level 40. So, 1000 armor at level 40 will give you ~22.7% damage reduction.

Right! SO we got the boring stuff out of the way! Let's create a chart of test values which we can apply these formulae to! Since I'm so awesome, I already have the charts!

-Number on the top row are Armor Values
-Numbers on the far left column is the test +value to the stat in question
-For the Ballistics Chart, just pick an armor value, look down the rows till the appropriate +stat, and you have the +damage modifier after mitigation at level 40.
-For the Weapon Skill Chart, the values given are the amount of armor reduced by each point, given the above armor value.

Ballistics Skill:

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
+10 1.77 1.55 1.32 1.09 0.86 0.64
+20 3.55 3.09 2.64 2.18 1.73 1.28
+30 5.32 4.64 3.96 3.28 2.59 1.91
+40 7.09 6.18 5.28 4.37 3.46 2.55
+50 8.86 7.73 6.59 5.46 4.32 3.19
+60 10.64 9.28 7.91 6.55 5.19 3.83
+70 12.41 10.82 9.23 7.64 6.05 4.46
+80 14.18 12.37 10.55 8.73 6.92 5.1
+90 15.96 13.91 11.87 9.83 7.78 5.74
+100 17.73 15.46 13.19 10.92 8.65 6.38

Weapon Skill:

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
+1 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
+2 1 2 3 4 5 6
+3 1.5 3 4.5 6 7.5 9
+4 2 4 6 8 10 12
+5 2.5 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
+6 3 6 9 12 15 18
+7 3.5 7 10.5 14 17.5 21
+8 4 8 12 16 20 24
+9 4.5 9 13.5 18 22.5 27
+10 5 10 15 20 25 30

Easy enough? I hope so. It's pretty elementary so far! The key is interpreting it! And for that, I have us a special guest! Here are the above charts organized in a visual manner;

Ballistic Skill(top) and Weapon Skill(bottom):

So what do these charts and raw data mean? Well, here's the gist of it in case you weren't following along; the higher the armor value, the less damage return you get from Ballistic Skill, while the higher the armor value, the larger return you get on Weapon Skill! The Ballistic Skill chart above shows how much extra DPS you get for each 10 points of Ballistics Skill. The Weapon Skill chart shows how much additional armor is bypassed for each point of Weapon Skill, given the above armor value.

Doing a quick calculation in me 'ead, it's at around 2000ish armor that Weapon Skill begins to give a better damage, point for point, than Ballistic Skill!

If, as a Rifleman, you want to focus primarily on low armor classes such as non-melee healers and other RDPS classes, stack as much Ballistic skill as you can! If, however, you want to be more well rounded, dealing more damage to tank classes, medium RDPS, and Melee Healers try to stack Weapon Skill. In any case, +WS on higher level items is not in nearly as much abundance as +BS, so stack accordingly.

Remember, 2000 armor, where the Weapon Skill stat seems to succeed Ballistic Skill in damage is a decent amount of armor! Basically, this is Medium Armor and up. RDPS careers and non-melee healers have Light Armor, as do the Light Melee careers like WItch Elf and Witch Hunter. So, to kill everything but tanks and brawlers, stack Ballistics!

I hope this has been a help to some, I will eventually do a writeup on all Engineer skills and their coefficients, which will give you a better idea of what to stack.

Till then!
Papa Gwan

Addendum - Weapon Skill Chart

Mornin' lads!

I was pondering over this post the other day, realizing how poorly the Weapon Skill chart was made out. Sure, it shows how much armor is negated at said level and armor value, but it shows little in terms actual damage mitigated and bypassed. And so, I have created this new chart!

-First Row is Armor Values
-First(left) column is +weapon skill
-Find the armor value you are hitting against, add the weapon skill, and that shows how much more damage you will deal against your target

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
1 0.06 0.23 0.51 0.91 1.42 2.04
2 0.11 0.45 1.02 1.82 2.84 4.09
3 0.17 0.68 1.53 2.72 4.26 6.13
4 0.23 0.91 2.04 3.63 5.68 8.17
5 0.28 1.14 2.55 4.54 7.1 10.22
6 0.34 1.36 3.07 5.45 8.52 12.26
7 0.4 1.59 3.58 6.36 9.93 14.31
8 0.45 1.82 4.09 7.27 11.35 16.35
9 0.51 2.04 4.6 8.17 12.77 18.39
10 0.57 2.27 5.11 9.08 14.19 20.44

I think this shows, more clearly, the bonus of Weapon Skill over Ballistic Skill. I left the main post alone to the fledglings can easily see the direct Armor Negation chart. As you can see, this supports my main supposition that Weapon Skill surpasses Ballistic Skill point for point at about 2000+ armor.

Cheers mates!
-Papa Gwan

The Rundown

So, here we are...

I can feel it; a bunch of you little 'uns are gathered at my feet and say to me, "Papa Gwan? What is an Engineer? Why are they so special?" and I say to you, "Well, my son, an Engineer is thing of great beauty and grace, a fragile thing that needs love and tender care, lest it be broken and fall to ashes!"

Hah. Right. Actually, an Engineer is a long-rifle toting, ale guzzling, kevlar covered monstrosity covered in hair, and has a beard the size of Cincinnati. And don't forget the pipe! Lots o' smoking goin' on!

The Engineer is the Dwarf race's RDPS Archetype career in Warhammer Online. He is described as such by his developer's;
An explosion is the ultimate form of mechanical advantage, so it's no big surprise that the skills of the Dwarf Engineer extend well along these lines. From guns to grenades, he is a deadly ranged combatant who will pelt you with lead from afar and blast you to bits as you close in. He excels when fighting multiple opponents, as many of his explosive attacks are capable of devastating enemies who pack too closely together. The Engineer offers an outstanding blend of flexible firepower which makes him a truly deadly and clever combatant.
Somewhat accurate statement, though i have to say, not quite there. It is also stated by the Dev's that the Engineer is supposed to be a "Defensive RDPS career specializing in AoE and Area Denial." This is somewhat more accurate, at least the Defensive part.

My description is neither of the above. Sure, it may change later, I reserve the right to adjust my description as the class evolves, but for now, here is my take;
The Engineer is a "light AoE damage, highly survivable support career, specializing in Crowd Control and Area Denial mechanics."
Whew. Mouthful. But accurate in it's current incarnation(1.0.3) The Engineer, rather than being a strait DPS career like the Bright Wizard, has more to him; a plethora of CC mechanics, including Knockbacks, Knockdowns, Stuns, Inturrupts, Snares, and Roots. He can specialize further in Crowd Control by mastering the Tinkerer path. AoE damage can be boosted by mastering Grenades, while single-target spike damage can be increased with the Rifleman mastery path.

So, we have our description; what exactly does an Engineer do? That's hard to answer. The Developers of WAR really failed to give a design focus to Engineers. As a result, Engineers are kind of a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of deal. Not pretty, but somewhat true! Does that mean that they can't excel in one area? No, it just requires lots of work!

Glad we got this one out of the way earlier, I will likely make a reference to out LAoEDHSSC-SCCADM-RDPS description/role often!

Papa Gwan

Monday, October 27, 2008


Heya Lads and Lasses!

My name is Gwan. Most call be Papa Gwan. I've always intended to start a Blog, but never really had a good reason to. Most blogs I see around are little more than personal journals that are public. Meh. Not my style.

HOWEVER, as I recently started playing WAR, and most people think my chosen career need of some dev lovin', I decided to start a Blog about it! I am a theorycrafter at heart and posting in the the Warhammer Alliance forums has been, shall we say, interesting.

Anyhow, I am in the process of creating crapload of Engineer resources, guides, videos, and theorycrafting charts to reference. Will it be done soon? No. I am fairly casual about gaming, though i try to play whenever I have free time. I am a student and I work, so free time is not often.

Anyhow, feel free to tune in here, I'll link back to this for most my posts at Warhammer Alliance!

Cheers mates,
Papa Gwan, the Kitchen Philosopher