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FrozenNova
08-25-2011, 12:34 AM
[Outdated]: I need to get around to rewriting this to include the u14 AC changes.

I've seen a sizable amount of new players without a complete grasp of the Dnd combat mechanics. No fault on their part, for sure, but this may help out.

Melee attacks:
An entity has several derrived statistics that determine how melee combat progresses.

To-hit represents how good you are at connecting blows to your opponent. For standard builds, it is your strength modifier and base attack bonus that influence this. Base attack bonus varies per class. A fighter will have a BAB equal to his level - a rogue will have a BAB equal to 3/4rds of his level, rounded down. Other things that affect this will be your weapon's enhancement value, enhancements, buffs, feats and combat stances.
Your damage bonus is just that - the bonus to your damage. For standard builds, it is again your strength modifier that increases this. Two handed weapons recieve 1.5 times your strength modifier - while dual wielding, your main hand receives 1.0 times your strength modifier, while offhand recieves 0.5 times strength modifier. Other things that affect this will be your weapon's enhancement value, enhancements, buffs, feats, and combat stances.
Your armor class represents how well you can dodge or deflect incoming blows. It does not decrease the damage of a blow that has successfully connected. Your dexterity modifier will add to your armor class, as will armor bonuses from... armor, and many things besides. Note that armor and tower shields have a maximum dexterity bonus. No matter what your dexterity modifier, you will only recieve up to the max dex bonus of your equipment as a bonus to your armor class.

A character swings at an enemy:
A twenty sided die (a d20) is rolled.
If the result is 20, it is an automatic hit, and damage is calculated and applied. If a 1, an automatic miss.
If the result is not a 20 or a 1, the result is added to his to-hit bonus and compared with the target's armor class.
If his to-hit+d20 is equal or greater than the target's armor class, the hit connects.
The damage dice of his weapon is rolled (e.g. 1d8 for a longsword, 1d6 for a scimitar, 5d6 for an Epic Sword of Shadow). His damage bonus is added to the outcome, and the total is dealt as damage to the target's hitpoints.

Critical hit!
A critical hit can occur if the outcome of the d20 for rolling attack is within the critical range of our character's weapon. For instance, the Epic Sword of Shadow has a critical range of 18-20. Rolling an 18, 19 or 20 will threaten a critical hit. When this happens, the to-hit roll is made again, and the second result is compared against the target's armor class. This is called 'confirming a critical' - and is basically just repeating your attack roll to see if your critical hit hits. The only difference is that a 20 is not an automatic hit, while 1 is not an automatic miss. Some things provide bonuses to critical confirmation - they add to your to-hit bonus for this second roll. However, given that it's just the same as a normal attack roll, it's not important unless you're missing often normally (in which case you have bigger problems.)

If a critical hit has been threatened and confirmed, the damage roll is repeated to the value of the weapon's critical multiplier, and the damage totalled. For the Epic Sword of Shadow, that's 3. The massive sum of damage will subsequently be dealt to the enemy. Do note that damage besides the physical force of the blow, such as flaming, is not multiplied. However, some effects have additional bonuses on critical hits. A statistic called fortification - a usually magical form of protection based on diverting blows from vital points - has a percentage chance to prevent this critical hit, applying normal damage instead. Fortification for players is vitally important, as a stray unexpected critical can throw a spanner in the works. Or a greataxe in your eye.

Damage reduction
Damage reduction is a useful thing. Provided the enemy cannot bypass it, it will reduce all incoming physical attack damage by its value. It is shown in the format #/Types. This means, damage reduction of # for all physical attacks that are not one of the following types. For instance, 5/piercing will take 5 damage away from every non-piercing attack. DR listed as #/- cannot be bypassed.
You can also have DR for other catagories, such as #/Evil. A strike that deals evil damage will bypass this. If you check the combat log, it is possible for you to check what DR an enemy is using. Usually, you can change your damage types appropriately by changing your weapon. Skeletons have dr/blunt, golems have dr/adamantite, and clay golems have dr/blunt + adamantite - so you'll need an adamantite warhammer to get through.
For players, only the highest value of DR will affect incoming attacks. If the attack goes through, the second highest may affect it instead, and so on.
Actively blocking - holding shift - will provide a seperate blocking bonus to damage reduction. This bonus can be seen by opening details in your inventory. This will stack with innate DR on your character sheet. Holding a shield gives a significant boost to your blocking DR. Your BAB also affects it.
If you are a primary melee class, your job is hitting things, and hitting them good. That means it's always important to be able to break an enemy's damage resistance, so carry a range of appropriate weaponry with you.

I hope I helped. Please ask any questions or provide any comments in this thread.
If you have not already done so, check out the saves and spell damage mechanics at http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=4019920.

Practical notes: Power critical is worthless. Improved critical is incredible.
Strength, not dexterity, determines your chance to hit in melee, if not using weapon finesse.
Turn power attack off if you're missing too much.
Armor class doesn't reduce damage, it increases misses.
Only the highest value of damage reduction applies.
Even a +1 weapon counts as a 'magic' weapon for purposes of dr/magic.

badkhan
08-25-2011, 02:44 AM
It took me at least 6 weeks of playing and getting beaten up all the time in Sorrowdusk to finally come ask for advices on the forum and realize that i had NO IDEA how did work some of the game mechanics you just explained here. I though AC was some kind of DR. I though dex was use to hit and str only for damage (because it just made more sense to me).

DDO is great but does an incredibly poor job at explaining itself to the newbie. It assumes you have prior DnD experience (which i'm sure is not true in MANY cases).

Too bad 95% of the newbies that will need to read this thread will never read it.

Still +1 for you.

Frotz
08-25-2011, 07:10 AM
OP could be made a lot shorter by saying, "Mouse over everything on your char sheet (open with C) and read all the popup tips". :)

Qindark
08-25-2011, 07:39 AM
One thing I'd like to add to the OP...

You have to look at the weapon description to determine which stat affects the weapon, although 99% of the time he is absolutely correct. Ranged weapons and throwing weapons use Dex as the attack modifier, and without confusing the issue, a named item or 2 will use dex as the modifier.

Feats that can be useful:

Brutal Throw-allows the use of str modifier to attack for thrown weapons. Useful primarily to the fighter that has the extra feat

Weapon finesse-allows the use of dex modifier to attack for LIGHT weapons-useful for a dex build, usually an elf that will TWF with rapiers and racial bonuses. Not recommended, except for maybe flavor builds, since str build are usually superior

Bow strength-adds str modifier to damage with a bow. Free feat for rangers. Used mostly by rangers, and most builds don't have the feat space to add this.

and the list goes on. Builds in this game aren't very typical to the MMO world, and hopefully new players will visit the forums or ask questions to get help.

FrozenNova
08-25-2011, 01:04 PM
One thing I'd like to add to the OP...

You have to look at the weapon description to determine which stat affects the weapon, although 99% of the time he is absolutely correct. Ranged weapons and throwing weapons use Dex as the attack modifier, and without confusing the issue, a named item or 2 will use dex as the modifier.

Feats that can be useful:

Brutal Throw-allows the use of str modifier to attack for thrown weapons. Useful primarily to the fighter that has the extra feat

Weapon finesse-allows the use of dex modifier to attack for LIGHT weapons-useful for a dex build, usually an elf that will TWF with rapiers and racial bonuses. Not recommended, except for maybe flavor builds, since str build are usually superior

Bow strength-adds str modifier to damage with a bow. Free feat for rangers. Used mostly by rangers, and most builds don't have the feat space to add this.

and the list goes on. Builds in this game aren't very typical to the MMO world, and hopefully new players will visit the forums or ask questions to get help.

Yeah - I didn't go into ranged combat, though it is fundamentally the same, only dex is used for to-hit, and strength applies to bows if you have bow strength.
While true that several unique weapons have alternate stats for to-hit or damage, going into every instance of them would extend the post even further. A good way to describe it would be that Dnd has a set of default rules, then the features of many pieces of gear or feats or enhancements allow you to then break the rules in some sense.

Syllph
08-25-2011, 01:15 PM
OP could be made a lot shorter by saying, "Mouse over everything on your char sheet (open with C) and read all the popup tips". :)

Well said. But honestly, good try OP.

Kinerd
08-25-2011, 05:32 PM
If a critical hit has been threatened and confirmed, the damage roll is made normally, then the outcome is multiplied by the weapon's critical multiplier.A minor clarification: the damage is rolled X times, where X is the weapon's multiplier. For a character doing 0 + d2 damage, one would not see {2 @ 50% of the time, 4 @ 50% of the time} but {2 @ 25%, 3 @ 50%, 4 @ 25%}. Why someone decided to use the misleading term "multiplier" for this property, who can say. It has no bearing on the expected average (2 * .5 + 4 * .5 = 3 = 2 * .25 + 3 * .5 + 4 * .25), which is why it's only a minor clarification, but it's the truth. I would also change:
A statistic called fortification - a usually magical form of protection based on diverting blows from vital points - has a percentage change to block this critical hit....to something like "render this critical hit a non-critical hit". It might not be immediately obvious to a novice that blocking a critical doesn't mean literally blocking it.

FrozenNova
08-25-2011, 07:58 PM
A minor clarification: the damage is rolled X times, where X is the weapon's multiplier. I would also change:...to something like "render this critical hit a non-critical hit". It might not be immediately obvious to a novice that blocking a critical doesn't mean literally blocking it.

Wasn't even aware of it myself. In my brief pnp period we just multiplied, but most likely because we were lazy.
Wording fixed. Thanks.