Dragon Age Inquisition Theorycrafting

Sera is the best companion in Dragon Age
I have no idea how many cross-game players might happen to read this blog, but I needed somewhere to put these numbers where I'd have them handy, so today I'm doing a Dragon Age post.

I picked up DA:I back when it first came out, but as Warlords of Draenor came out around the same time, I was very slow in getting started.  The first quarter of the game wasn't really that fun for me, anyway, so I actually spent a couple months just getting through the first 20 hours or so.  Once I moved from Haven to Skyhold, it was like a totally different game; I got really into the story and played for about nine years, in a row, at a time...

At some point in there, I got really into dragon hunting, and wanting to attempt some solo dragon hunting in the nightmare mode.  I'm pretty sure I saw that someone had beaten the game in Nightmare mode, solo.  I'm going to settle for just killing the dragons, though.

As with anything, I had to get started with data collection and spreadsheets!  I'd imagine other people have already found all of this information, but I didn't see it after a quick googling, so I decided to post it all here.

My favorite build for nightmare is, of course, a rogue archer.  All of the specialties seem to work really well, with very similar strats.  I like Assasin and Tempest, using the grappling hook, and leaping shot as often as possible, with heavy crit builds and Looked Like It Hurt. So, that's the perspective I'm coming from when I did most of my testing here.

Role-playing DPS Stats:
1 Dexterity = .5% Attack & 1% Crit damage
1 Cunning = .5% Crit chance
1 Willpower =  .5% Attack
1 Constitution = 5 Health

Math DPS stats:
x% Attack = (1+x/100) ability damage multiplier
x% Armor Pen = Target Armor - (Target Armor * x/100)
x% Crit Damage Bonus = Base Damage * (1.4 + x/100)
x% Flanking Damage Bonus = Base Damage * (1.25 + x/100)

Base Damage:
Weapon Damage is the base damage you do, upon which all of your modifiers are based.  As in most games, Weapons are normalized that you'll have essentially similar DPS among the same tier of weapons.  However, Abilities are based on your Weapon Damage, not your Weapon DPS.  So, at least for my purposes, the higher Weapon Damage is much more important than the Weapon DPS.

Crit chance percent seems to work just as expected.  The crit damage increase applies before armor reduction.  So, without any crit bonus damage, we have our base of 140% damage for Crits; to Calculate the ability damage then, we use: Base Damage * (1.4+CritBns/100) - Armor.  The expected value of Crit will be: 1% Crit Chance increases damage by .4% + .01% for every percent of crit damage bonus.

Flanking damage works the same as Crit, but with a base of 25% (instead of 40%).  It's also worth noting that they, and most other modifiers, work multiplicatively.  So, if we add in flanking damage to a critical hit, we get a formula that looks like: Base Damage * (1.4+CritBns/100) * (1.25+FlnkngBns/100) - Armor.   The expected Value of Flanking Bonus will then be (if all abilities are used while flanking) 1% increased overall damage per 1% Flanking Bonus.

Armor Pen:
Armor Pen, as the name might suggest, only applies to armor, and reduces the effectiveness of armor by the % Armor Pen.  So if we have our formula from above (which is getting long, already), it would look like: Base Damage * (1.4+CritBns/100) * (1.25+FlnkngBns/100) - (Armor*(1-ArmrPen/100).

Attack % works differently than the stats above, because it is applied after the Armor reduction. So it's better viewed as a modifier for the ability you're using, rather than a weapon damage modifier. Going back again to our damage formula, we would add Attack damage outside all of it, like: (Base Damage * (1.4+CritBns/100) * (1.25+FlnkngBns/100) - (Armor*(1-ArmrPen/100))*(1+Attck/100).

Someone mentioned to me, so I'm mentioning it here, also, that certain abilities have different modifiers than attack, and in which case, attack doesn't do anything.  The example they used was the Archer's Long Shot, which uses distance from target as a modifier for the ability.  I haven't been able to verify exactly how this works, yet.

Ability Modifiers:
That brings us to our last modifiers, and that's what's shown on your tooltips for abilities.  These modifiers are, as I sort of mentioned above, multiplied after armor reduction.  So with, as an example, Full Draw (while the target is at full health), assuming we were flanking the target and had a critical hit, our damage would be:   (Base Damage * (1.4+CritBns/100) * (1.25+FlnkngBns/100) - (Armor*(1-ArmrPen/100))*(1+Attck/100) * 8.00.

What's Next

Ok.  I still have a lot of work to do with defensive abilities, but this is what I've got now. I have enjoyed the project thus far, though I doubt I'm going to make a full out DPS spreadsheet for Dragon Age. This at least helps me have more of an idea how my DPS will be affected to really dig into each stat like this.

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