Melee weapon: "+damage" versus "-armor"

ErasmusBDragonErasmusBDragon Posts: 83
edited January 2015 in TL2 General Discussions
I have a great hammer called The Ogre's Fist (item lvl 75) with 2 sockets. One version sockets 2 huge iron embers (+111 physical damage each), the other sockets 2 Lovantine skulls (-89 to all armor per hit each). I tried it on a dummy and it seemed to me that the iron embers did a LOT more damage (not just the +25% you might guess from dividing 111 by 89).

Yes, I realize that the dummy might have more armor than an actual monster. Also a % modifier to damage or armor reduction might be more powerful (but it's hard to find 2 gems at this level that would add up to +176% physical damage).

But in general, when would you want to socket a -armor gem instead of +physical damage?

Comments

  • D2HansD2Hans Posts: 3,031 ✭✭✭
    I do not recall if the dummy has any armor but it is more based on what your level is.

    The best way to test is in actual combat. - to all armor I find is more effective with fast low damage weapons and more so if it has multiple elements.
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  • I still don't know how armor reduction works. How long does the armor reduction last? Does it stack with other hits with armor reduction?
  • ChthonChthon Posts: 1,855
    You will find the answers to many of your questions here or here.

    To address the question in the OP:

    Flat +dmg modifiers on weapons, like iron embers, are essentially* an increase to the weapon's base damage. As such, they benefit from all of your damage bonus multipliers.
    So, you could approximate the average added damage per hit as follows:
    +damage * (1 + strength_bonus + %all_damage_bonus + %melee_damage_bonus + etc...) * ((1+crit_chance) * %crit_damage_bonus)) * (1+monster_takes_%increased_damage) * pick_one{if normal attack -> 1, if wdmg skill -> skill's_%wdmg, if wdps skill -> skill's_%wdps * ((1+%fast_attack)/weapon_period)}

    By default, armor shred is stackable and lasts 5 sec. Armor's function is to stop a flat amount of damage, picked randomly between 50% and 100% of its value**.
    So, you could approximate the average added damage per hit as follows:
    -armor * 0.75 * smaller_of{number_of_hits_you_can_make_on_same_target_in_5_sec, number_of_hits_until_monster_dies}

    As you can probably see, which is better depends on a whole bunch of extrinsic variables. To (over-)generalize: if you already have decent killing power, +damage is better; if you're struggling to kill things (i.e. you do very little damage per hit, or every monster takes many hits to kill), then -armor might be better.


    * There's one pretty nasty bug that makes this not entirely true. Read the linked posts to learn more.
    ** Armor also scales with the %wdmg or %wdps on skills, the %secondary_target_dmg on weapons with splash damage, etc.
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  • ErasmusBDragonErasmusBDragon Posts: 83
    edited November 2014
    Chthon wrote:
    You will find the answers to many of your questions here or here.

    Thanks. Let me say that I admire your courage in trying to explain how these things work in English (most of the time) rather than source code. I had started to read the original article but I don't think I had seen your companion article on defense.

    Sometimes it's challenging to find the words I need in the search function.

    I have already learned something from the defense article: that "reflect damage" does NOT reduce damage. I was assuming it did because it worked that way in a similar game (Diablo?). I am already doing lots of damage and so I will change my socket gems to something more useful for me.

    I will continue reading and will post questions, if any, in those threads.
    To (over-)generalize: if you already have decent killing power, +damage is better; if you're struggling to kill things (i.e. you do very little damage per hit, or every monster takes many hits to kill), then -armor might be better.

    Thanks. I said above I am doing plenty of damage. I noticed that each level of iron ember has 2 variants for weapons, +damage and -armor. According to the TL wikia http://torchlight.wikia.com/wiki/Gems_%28T2%29 the lower level irons have a bigger number for the +damage than the -armor variants (although there are some missing numbers there), but the giant iron ember has +damage 130 and -armor 155. Perhaps trying to balance an expected increase in monster armor at higher levels?

    I also tested with a 3 socket greathammer and dummy with

    1) 3 +130 damage giant iron embers and

    2) 2 +130 damage giant iron embers and one one -155 armor giant iron ember.

    Either one would do, but so far I like the 3 +130 damage gems better.
  • ErasmusBDragonErasmusBDragon Posts: 83
    edited November 2014
    EDIT: removed text because I unknowingly replied to a spam post.
  • ChthonChthon Posts: 1,855
    Uh... Erasmus... I think you're responding to a bot. :D

    (They post generic, low-content posts that could fit with any thread on any forum in order to drive up their post counts in case the board is moderating the first X posts a user makes. Then they start spamming.)

    ---

    On-topic:

    I never put in the time to thoroughly test the details this bug because testing for armor is a royal pain in the ****. So I don't know if using a skill that converts damage to elemental would get around it. Testing should be easier now that GUTS is out so that you can make whatever item you want to test with. You could create a 50% base phys, 50% elemental weapon, and follow the procedure I used in my original tests.

    Overall, this bug is annoying, but not a gamebreaking problem because player damage dwarfs monster armor in the endgame if you know what you're doing.

    If it helps you can think of it this way (which isn't accurate, but it works out the same):
    1. Socketables and enchantments that add damage have a hidden penalty that reduces their benefit, but the size of penalty goes down as you add more damage through socketables and enchantments.
    2. Purely elemental weapons (weapons that have no base physical damage) don't suffer this penalty.
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  • ErasmusBDragonErasmusBDragon Posts: 83
    edited November 2014
    Chthon wrote:
    Uh... Erasmus... I think you're responding to a bot. :D

    (They post generic, low-content posts that could fit with any thread on any forum in order to drive up their post counts in case the board is moderating the first X posts a user makes. Then they start spamming.)

    Thanks. I edited my reply, see above.

    Overall, this bug is annoying, but not a gamebreaking problem because player damage dwarfs monster armor in the endgame if you know what you're doing.

    Yes, for example crit hits. I have been thinking along those lines. Critical damage is really more than you need for ordinary monsters, but it comes in handy against the big bosses.

    Purely elemental weapons (weapons that have no base physical damage) don't suffer this penalty.

    1) You know, I don't remember ever having such a melee weapon. Embermage staff/wand, yes. If you don't have the level requirements, it might have a high focus req though.

    2) Seems like +physical damage gems have bigger numbers than +elemental, so if you liked a pure elemental weapon you could add +physical and avoid the bug
  • JibakuJibaku Posts: 119
    Bots say some of the funniest/strangest/weirdest stuff though
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  • ChthonChthon Posts: 1,855
    Chthon wrote:
    Uh... Erasmus... I think you're responding to a bot. :D

    (They post generic, low-content posts that could fit with any thread on any forum in order to drive up their post counts in case the board is moderating the first X posts a user makes. Then they start spamming.)

    Thanks. I edited my reply, see above.

    And, if you look now, you'll see the the bot edited its post to include spam for an online nunchaku dealer. So, nunchaku spam kinda an odd thing to spam for, but what a clever bot.

    Purely elemental weapons (weapons that have no base physical damage) don't suffer this penalty.

    1) You know, I don't remember ever having such a melee weapon. Embermage staff/wand, yes. If you don't have the level requirements, it might have a high focus req though.

    2) Seems like +physical damage gems have bigger numbers than +elemental, so if you liked a pure elemental weapon you could add +physical and avoid the bug

    Strangely, the game treats physical +dmg socketables as a separate damage source and the bug still applies. :(
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  • NeophytoiNeophytoi Posts: 3,539
    Chthon wrote:
    nunchaku spam kinda an odd thing to spam for, but what a clever bot.
    cleverbot.png
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  • ahh , i am new in this game . but i can tell that melee weapons has the favor , for me it depends on the option of the weapon , mostly critical damage if there's some , if your weapon has a great option then armors will not be effective anymore..


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