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 becomes defeated 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), or reduced to zero in World versus World by the effect of Windfall. 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 or, uniquely, a Superior Rune of the Scholar set. In other words, a Player or NPC will often deal the same amount of outgoing damage regardless of whether they are at 100% health, 50% health or 1% health.
Base direct damage is given by the following equation:
- 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 attribute 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 direct 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%
- Some Champions or other enemies can become Exposed
- Other effects that increase the attacker's outgoing damage or the target's incoming damage, including those from upgrade components, traits, nourishment, etc.
Only successful attacks will cause damage. The following will prevent this:
- The blind condition affecting the attacker, resulting in a miss
- The target blocks or evades the attack by use of skills or effects or makes a successful dodge
- 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 = [number of hits] * round[(average weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient per hit) / (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, 8x 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 apply 1 stack of burning each having 2 second duration.
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 2597, see Skill Facts for details.
- For power 1000 and target armor 2597 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 = 2597 * (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 most non-weapon attacks to be 690.5 at level 80 from the tooltip damage and some assumed skill coefficient.
- Bundles, including kits and conjures, appear to have an internal weapon strength of 922.5. This is the same value as a one-handed main hand weapon in sPvP, but it is then given a further modifier in PvE/WvW based on the rarity of the weapon, with exotic being the default.
- Skill coefficients can also be obtained from the from the skills API.
Utility Skills that increase damage
Utility Skills that decrease damage
- 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 will take a percentage of their health in damage, based on the distance. The damage appears to scale exponentially, and the untalented maximum safe falling distance is around 1200 units. Landing in water negates fall damage, but invulnerability does not. Unless a character is already downed, dying from a fall will not damage armor.
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 while 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
Every profession has a trait which halves falling damage and grants one or more other effects after falling.
- Peak Performance — Physical skills have reduced recharge and increase all outgoing physical damage for a period of time. Receive less damage from falling, and launch nearby foes when you take fall damage.
- Protector's Impact — Cast Lesser Symbol of Protection when you take falling damage or using a healing skill. You take less damage when falling.
- Planar Protection — Cast Dome of the Mists when you take damage from falling or use a healing skill. Take less damage from falling.
- Soften the Fall — Create Muddy Terrain falling.
- Uncatchable — Leave behind Lesser Caltrops when you dodge or take falling damage. Drop additional caltrops when taking falling damage. You take less falling damage.
- Grenadier — Increase the throw velocity and blast radius of grenades. Take reduced falling damage and cast Explosive Descent when you take falling damage.
- Terrifying Descent — When you fear a foe inflict torment. Cast Lesser Terrify when you take falling damage. Take less falling damage.
- Arcane Abatement — Reduce fall damage you receive; cast a spell based on your attunement when you receive fall damage. Swapping attunements restores health.
- Descent into Madness — Cast Lesser Chaos Storm when you take falling damage or use a heal skill. Take less damage from falling.