Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

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    Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by BLA1NE on Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:47 pm

    I'm having a hard time figuring out why it is that elemental weapons, which have much higher damage ratings than their purely physical counterparts, end up doing less damage on the majority of enemies. I always knew elemental weapons had to go through 2 defenses, but in my mind that didn't mean their damage would be reduced more than a purely physical weapon that only had to go through one defense.

    In another thread, Reaperfan explained it to me in a way that made me understand... Only now I just remembered why the double defenses thing didn't make sense to me in the first place! Basically, this is how Reaper explained it (I'm not citing you to pick on you Reaper, just giving credit!):

    - Physical weapon: 1 defense, 10%* reduction of damage
    - Elemental weapon: 2 defenses, 10% reduction each = 20% reduction of damage

    *(Numbers are made up.)

    But here's how I see it: a physical weapon would be getting 1 defense applied to 100% of its damage; an elemental weapon would be getting 2 defenses applied, but each to 50% of the damage. So in the end, both should be subject to equal damage mitigation:

    - Physical weapon: 1 defense, 10% reduction of damage
    - Elemental weapon: 2 defenses, 10% reduction of 50% each = 10% reduction

    Only elemental weapons deal more damage to begin with, so I'm still confused as to why physical weapons end up dealing more damage in the end.


    Possible explanations I see:

    - Defense isn't applied exclusively to its element. An elemental weapon triggers the elemental defense, but this elemental defense affects the whole damage (so physical damage too). In this case, it would be like Reaper said: two defenses applied to 100% of the damage, equals 20% reduction.

    - Mobs have ridiculous elemental defense.


    If there was interest, we could do testing on the subject. I could see this being useful to know, since it implies that damage rating values are completely misleading. And since our wiki has all these damage ratings available, I wouldn't want the wiki to be unknowingly misleading people! I, for one, always have an elemental weapon to backup my regular weapon when it isn't buffed. But I've found that my regular weapon, even unbuffed, actually hits harder than my elemental weapon anyways! So, with testing, we could find out if it is actually true that purely physical weapons, with lower damage ratings, are stronger than elemental weapons; we could find out why; and we could find out at which point physical surpasses elemental.

    We could get these results by collecting data both on attacking mobs (to test whether they do, in fact, have ridiculous elemental resistance!) and attacking other players, and comparing results between the two. Also, purely magical melee weapons could come in useful; since they only trigger one defense, but it's magical, it could be compared 1:1 with purely physical weapons, then against split damage weapons.

    I'm going to be honest with you, though: I would be very much interested in these results, but unless I change my mind I just don't have the energy or willingness right now to undertake or organize this research myself...

    But let's hear what you guys have to say on the matter first!


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by Rassa on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:29 pm

    Seath,Ornstein, Gwyn all have absurd defenses to certain damage types. Hollows at firelink have practically zero defenses so those are probably some good testing dummies to use. I am definitely interested in knowing how these work since it might make the defense rings actually useful depending on results.
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by FruitPunchNinja on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:37 pm

    ^^ its heavily do to armor. i personally think elemental is better because you only need base stats and the dmg is close. you can also make multiple versions of the same weapons (fire,electric,magic ext) and switch based on your enemys deffense.

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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by Rassa on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:45 pm

    Pretty sure its not due to armor. Giants hammer was hitting smough for 400ish while it hit ornstein for 136. Giants hammer has primarily lightning damage.

    Also everytime i fight seath with a divine weapon i end up swapping to some normal +15 and deal more damage.
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by RANT on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:10 pm

    always go with raw, that is what monster hunter taught me.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by BLA1NE on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:12 pm

    FruitPunchNinja wrote:^^ its heavily do to armor. i personally think elemental is better because you only need base stats and the dmg is close. you can also make multiple versions of the same weapons (fire,electric,magic ext) and switch based on your enemys deffense.
    I do have a few weapons for specific situations--divine for catacombs... uh, not electric for O&S! Electric for most of the rest... But mostly, I prefer to have one loadout that will get me through most situations. I'm very, very specific when it comes to planning stats, but when it comes to armor and weapons, the fewer I have to use, the happier I am!

    So if pure physical rivals elemental in every situation, and surpasses it in most, then I'll go with physical. But, since I'm so particular about stats, I'd like to know precisely when physical takes the top.

    Also, this is handy when you start getting along in NG+s. While you can pretty much beat Dark Ponies under almost any circumstances, I like to keep things simple; if I can kill an enemy with 1 hit instead of 2, I'll go for the OHK! And at SL120, vit gouged elemental builds are just boring... To sum it all up: I'd prefer to go with the build that takes 1 hit of a purely physical weapon to kill everything rather than the vit gouged build that takes multiple hits with multiple weapons!

    Also, this would be handy information for making even better PvP builds.


    Edit: LOL the forum automatically changes "s0uls" to "ponies"!


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by Wisp on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:50 pm

    Your reasoning only applies if the damage is reduced by percentage. If the damage is reduced by a flat rate then the 2 defences thing applies.
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by BLA1NE on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:54 pm

    Yes, that is correct.

    But the fact that we don't know if it's a percentage or fixed amount is another reason why we would benefit from testing.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by reim0027 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:04 pm

    If you guys want to test, I have a toon with a lot of weapons, maxed out, in all upgrades. I also have the armor we need.

    Hit me up, BLA1NE, if you're interested.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by Maneater_Mildred on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:14 pm

    Im down for testing, i would also like to test how 2handing works with elemental vs normal. For example if i two hand a lightning +5 weapon i get the 50% extra damage(not sure if 50% is right) but my attack rating does not go up in the menu. If i 2hand the same weapon @ +15 the attack rating goes up if it has str scaling(from the 50% str bonus) and then it gets the 50% 2handing bonus damage. So if i understand it right, 2handing +15 strenght scaling weapons gives an extra bonus...... Or i might have been smoking some crazy stuff and be completly wrong....


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by reim0027 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:16 pm

    IIRC, 2H makes some difference on elemental weapons, but it is negligible.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by ARSP on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:19 pm

    I think that Physical weapons do more damage because of scaling I maybe wrong but If i remember correctly Elemental weapons don't scale so if a Guy uses an Lightning +5 Uchigatana and +5 Standard Uchigatana then the standard uchigatana maybe more powerful if he has say 30 Dex


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by ublug on Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:13 pm

    Afaik it's a percentage (or a set amount) and a flat rate.
    Rough example not based on facts: Let's say 200 reduction mitigates 200 damage, but 10% (or 20 damage) is still let through, so you will inflict some damage with any weapon regardless of defense, even your fist. The damage beyond 200 is all let through (or a percentage). So a weapon with 500 physical damage will do 320, while a weapon with a 250/250 split will do 140.

    Damage reduction on shelds are a percentage, while armors and stats/humanity uses a different formula, which probably has some diminishing returns as well. Physical reduction also incorporates strike/slash/thrust, while the elementals each have their own separate defenses.

    To find this damage/defense formula you will need to test it against other players, since you don't know the defense values of enemies (which will also increase in NG+). You know how much damage weapons do in theory, but that will also change with different light and heavy attacks. This is a tough task, and will involve a lot of testing, but you should be able to get in the ballpark.

    Here's a PvE test on another forum:
    http://forums.demonssouls.info/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=10860
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by reim0027 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:18 pm

    So, BLA1NE and Mil, want to give it a go?


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by JY4answer on Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:07 pm

    This mystery has been bugging everyone.

    I did some testing on mob's on my own once, and I found that elemental weapons > normal on hollows by a lot, but on giants/sentinals normal > elemental, BY A LOT. As someone here said, this should be due to armor.

    I'm interested. +1
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by Maneater_Mildred on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:25 pm

    Im happy to be a test dummy.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by reim0027 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:29 pm

    Cool. Mil and I will get the damage numbers. BLA1NE has offered to crunch them. Any suggestions for what numbers to get? I'll make sure to get all elementals, criticals, armor with high elemental defense and armors with high physical but low elemental defense.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by BLA1NE on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:38 pm

    Yeah, try weapons with a wide range of attack strength (weak to strong) of all types (physical only, split, magic only) on armors with a range of defense (weak to strong, again), and some without armor. It would be good to get all numbers, too: attack rating of each type and corresponding damage on each armor type. Getting info for only your basic R1 attack should do, since we're trying to crunch data, not gather comprehensive info! What we need aren't so many numbers for each weapon, but rather comparable numbers for a wide range of weapons and armors.

    So I guess, have a few weapons of different strength for each:
    - Pure physical
    - Split
    - Pure magic

    And for each weapon:
    - Attack rating for each type
    - R1 damage on each different set of armor

    Does that sound about right?

    Thanks for doing this, guys!


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by reim0027 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:43 pm

    Sure thing. I'll prepare the pre-numbers tonight or tomorrow (weapon stats, armor stats) and make a table. Then, Mil and I will start slaughtering each other.

    EDIT: do you want 1H and 2H?


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by JY4answer on Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:03 am

    Is both a lot to ask for?

    Also while you guys are a it, can you test if the rapier back-step slash goes thru shields? We were talking about it in the wiki threads.

    Thanks guys. Owe both of you +1s!
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by JY4answer on Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:29 am

    Oh and I read from the Japanese boards that elemental damage might work differently to physical when it's critical (BS, riposte). Please please please test this? If I were home I'd have done it myself.

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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by PPG-3- on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:49 am

    you guys will surpass legendary status if you can figure this one out.

    you'll be remembered up there with Smough and Ornstein when I reflect back on this game!
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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by aceluby on Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:36 pm

    I'd love to know how this works as well. I always figured that shields block % while armor blocks a set amount of that type of damage. So let's say you have 200 phys def and 150 lightning def. A sword that does 300 of each (600 total) would let through 100 phys and 150 def = 250 total damage while a sword that does 500 phys only would let through 300.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by BLA1NE on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:07 pm

    ^I hope it's that simple! ublug's theory went a step further, though. Since no attack ever does 0, no matter how weak your opponent is and strong your defense, there may also be a % at play somewhere in the damage formula.


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    Re: Elemental Weapons vs Pure Physical Weapons

    Post by reim0027 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:12 pm

    Definitely going to test criticals. Especially if elementals have a higher critical, but lower AR. That would make things interesting.

    As far as rapier's >R1 going through shields, I'm missing something. Have someone hold block and see if they take damage. What's the debate about? It should be easy to solve.

    ace - let's figure out how elementals work first. Once we figure that out, then we can develop a better plan on how shields work.



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