Call it whatever you like—DPS, damage per second—we just call it DAMAGE, and when it comes to making red bars go down, you can never have enough of it. Don't trivialize it though; damage is a very versatile aspect of combat. There are so many ways that a character can do damage.
— GuildWars2.com promotional material
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. Direct damage and condition damage are the two primary forms of damage. The term damage usually refers to direct damage in the game.
There are three types of damage in Guild Wars 2:
- Direct damage. This damage is inflicted by skills and/or traits directly, can crit, and is mitigated by the target's armor.
- Condition damage. This damage is inflicted primarily by conditions, does not crit and is not mitigated by the target's armor.
- Falling damage. This damage is taken from falling. When taken below zero health by falling damage, the player does not enter a downed state but instead dies immediately. Falling damage scales with height fallen and is not mitigated by armor or any skills that reduce or prevent damage, but can be halved by one specific trait that varies by profession (see below). Death/defeat from falling does not result in damaged armor.
Outgoing damage is not affected by Health unless under the influence of a modifier such as a Trait with effects based on character's health. In other words, a Player or NPC may do the same amount of outgoing damage if they are at 100% health, 50% health or 1% health.
Base direct damage is given by the following equation:
Damage done = (Weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (target's Armor)
- Weapon strength: a uniformly distributed random number taken from the range of weapon strength of the equipped weapon. The weapon strength used for a skill will typically be that of the weapon associated with that skill; utility and elite skills are typically not affected by weapon strength and use a range based on the player's level. The weapon strength is also fixed for the duration of the skill, in particular pulsing aoes and channeled skills; although damage per hit is still affected by attributes, potions, sigils and other modifiers.
- Power: The current power as listed on the Hero tab.
- Skill coefficient: Every skill has a unique coefficient used to calculate damage inflicted. Listed by the () after tool tip listed on wiki pages, not shown in-game however.
- Target's Armor: Not shown in-game for PvE targets.
This base direct damage can then be modified by the following effects:
- Critical hits do increased damage. Critical hits default to 150% of base damage and this amount can be increased by the Ferocity player attribute. Critical Chance is governed by the Precision player attribute and flat bonuses such as the fury boon.
- Glancing blows, as caused by either level difference or weakness, only do 50% of regular damage.
- Vulnerability increases condition damage and direct damage on a target.
- Protection decreases the damage received by a target by 33%.
- Other various passive effects that increase the attacker's outgoing damage or a target's incoming damage, including those from upgrade components, traits, nourishment, etc
In order for a skill to do direct damage, it first must hit. The following will cause a skill to miss:
- The blind condition affecting you
- The target blocks, dodges or evades by other means
- The target is out of range of the actual attack (some attacks have greater reach than their skill tooltip indicates, e.g. projectiles with high arc)
- The target is obstructed by terrain, structures or objects
- The target is invulnerable
Direct damage is listed on skill tooltips with the Damage icon. Skill tooltip direct damage is given by the following formula:
Tooltip damage = (average weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (level-based Armor value)
- Average weapon strength is the average of the range of damage listed as Weapon Strength on the equipped weapon's tooltip.
- The damage actually done is unlikely to equal to the tooltip damage, since it depends on your opponent's Armor value and other factors listed above.
- At level 80, the opponent Armor value used to calculate the tooltip's direct damage is 2597. The value the game uses at other levels can be derived from the amount shown in the tooltip using the damage formula.
- Some skills do not calculate their tooltip damage based on the equipped weapon. These are frequently the same skills that are unaffected by Weapon Strength.
- Some skills list multiple strikes of Direct Damage. Each strike is treated independently as to whether it hits or misses and for the application of modifying effects. Using "Damage (2x): 500" as an example, the base damage of each strike is 250. Each strike that hits will have relevant modifying effects applied to it (crit, glancing, etc.).
- Some skills which apply conditions, such as Burning, may also have direct damage associated with them. For example: Damage (8x): 800, 8xStack Burning (2s): 4800. In this case the fire will apply 8 pulses of direct damage of 100 each at 1sec intervals. Each direct damage pulse will extend the burning condition by 2 sec which will apply 2 pulses of burning damage of 300 each at 1sec intervals as long as the burning lasts. The burning will therefore last 16sec and apply 16 burns of 300 and 8 direct damage hits of 100 each.
The skill facts on this Wiki quote a standardized number for the direct damage associated with a skill at level 80. It is used in the following formula for direct damage:
- The skill-fact damage is the tooltip damage displayed in the game for a level 80 character with an exotic level 80 weapon (if it is a weapon skill), but without any further equipment and without any other damage increasing effects. It is the default direct damage dealt by a level 80 character with base power 1000 against armor 2600, see Skill Facts for details.
- For power 1000 and target armor 2600 the formula says that damage done is equal to skill-fact damage.
- Damage is proportional to power. Twice the power means twice the damage. For example, increasing power from 1000 to 2289 by wearing exotic Soldier equipment leads to 2.289 times the damage.
- Damage is inversely proportional to target armor. Twice the target armor means half the damage. This applies equally to the case when the player is the target.
- Damage here refers to non-critical hits. The average damage increase due to critical hits can be formulated by replacing power by an increased effective power in the above formulas. Damage is then proportional to effective power, which includes the effect of precision and ferocity.
- The skill-fact damage combines the average weapon strength and the skill coefficient into one convenient number for damage calculation for level 80 exotics. The skill coefficient is not shown in-game but has to be computed from the above formulas, while the skill-fact damage is given directly by the tooltip.
- The skill-fact damage formula can also be used to obtain damage for ascended weapons. Since the average weapon strength of ascended weapons is 5% higher than that of exotic weapons, multiply the result by 1.05.
The skill-specific coefficient is not shown in the game. It is computed as follows:
Skill-specific coefficient = 2.6 * (skill-fact damage) / (weapon strength) = 2600 * (tooltip damage) / (weapon strength * Power)
- Given the default direct damage at power 1000 (for example from the Wiki) and the weapon strength, the skill coefficient can be computed. This relation should hold approximately for all skill entries on the Wiki.
- Given the direct damage for some other power value (for example from the in-game tooltip), the skill coefficient is given by the second equality.
- Small differences in the skill-coefficients are expected because of numerical round-off errors. For example, a tooltip of 100 is accurate to about 1%. For reliable results, it is advisable to compute the skill coefficient for several different power values and combine the results. The numerical result may be a coefficient of 1.006471, which can be assumed to be an exact 1.0. However, in some cases it is not clear what number the game uses internally. The approach seems valid since in many cases the above calculation leads to simple numbers like 1.0, 0.4, or 2.5.
- Weapon strength is shown in the game for weapons, but it is not shown for utility skills or other sources of damage. Assuming that the game uses simple skill coefficients for such skills as well, we can use the formula to compute a weapon strength for utility skills etc. from the tooltip damage and some assumed skill coefficient. For example, Conjured Weapons seem to have an internal weapon strength of 925, because this leads to simple skill coefficients like 0.3. or 2.5 for Frost Bow.
- Primary article: condition damage
The damage done by conditions is governed by the character level, the condition inflicted, and the player's Condition Damage attribute. Unlike direct damage, condition damage is not reduced by armor or toughness. Players can increase the listed amounts by increasing the Condition Duration attribute via traits, equipment, or nourishments.
|per foe skill use|
- 1 Poison reduces incoming healing by 33% for its entire duration.
- 2 Torment deals double damage to moving targets.
A character that falls takes damage, which depends on the distance fallen; a character can become defeated if the fall is far enough. The damage is proportional to the character's health- a level 80 character and a level 1 character falling from the same height will both lose approximately the same percentage of their maximum health. Landing in water negates fall damage, although invulnerability does not. Armor is never damaged by falling damage unless you are already within the downed state while falling.
Nonfatal falls can still be quite dangerous in areas with hostile NPCs, as sufficiently long falls can cause characters to be knocked prone upon landing; this leaves the character vulnerable to attacks whilst recovering.
You can fall while attempting to navigate a slope, since it is more difficult to estimate the height and angle. Sometimes, instead of sliding safely down, a character can be inflicted by repeated short falls that are each far enough to cause falling damage, sometimes resulting in becoming defeated, even though individually the falls would not have been fatal.
- Forcing opponents to fall
- Protector's Impact — Create a Symbol of Protection when you take falling damage. You take less damage when falling.
- Planar Protection — Create a field of the Mists when you take damage from falling. Take less damage from falling.
- Death from Above — Damage and launch foes when you take falling damage. Take less damage from falling.
- Explosive Descent — Release a barrage of grenades when you take falling damage. You take less damage from falling.
- Soften the Fall — Create Muddy Terrain when you take falling damage. You take less damage from falling.
- Cloaked in Shadow — Gaining stealth blinds nearby foes. Release a blinding powder when you take falling damage, and take less damage from falling.
- Arcane Abatement — Take less damage from falling. Create a spell based on your attunement when you take falling damage.
- Descent into Madness — Create a chaos storm when you take falling damage. Take less damage from falling.
- Terrifying Descent — Inflict fear on foes around you when you take falling damage. Take less falling damage.
Related upgrade components
- Rune of Snowfall — reduces damage and chills nearby foes