Weapon Buffs and You: More Complex Than You Think

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Weapon Buffs and You: More Complex Than You Think

Postby jumjummju » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:25 pm

(Important Info is bolded for your convenience)

I'm pretty sure anyone that was around in the days of the Darkmoon Blade Falchion R1 spammers can remember buffs. Those things in DKS1 that would add a flat amount of damage to your weapon? Yep, those were the days, and they were rather simple, too.

But in Dark Souls 2? Not so simple.

Let's start with the first thing: Buffs do NOT add a flat amount of damage, rather it's more percentile. Also, to add to the confusion, the official guide, which is what this wiki is based off of, is wrong. The guide says that buffs add 30% of the damage, plus 50. That is a horrible, horrible misconception.

Therefor, I have taken it upon myself to do an absolute ton of testing to determine how buffs actually worked, and I'm here to share the relevant conclusions with you, since I doubt you want my actual research notes (unless you like numbers a LOT).

Firstly, one thing most of you are probably aware of is that resins cannot be used on any elementally infused weapons (like a lightning longsword.) But did you know that resins CAN be used on certain weapons with some elemental damage normally, like the Dragonslayer Crescent Axe? But not all of them, only about half of them can be resined (that's a word now). Also, that those particular weapons are a bit strange when it comes to buffs? For simplicity's sake, I'll refer to weapons with base elemental damage (Heide Knight Sword, Black Knight Greatsword, etc.) as "BEW" or Base Elemental Weapons, and regular weapons (Longsword, Chaos Blade, etc.) as "PPW" or Pure Physical Weapons. Sidenote: Not every PPW weapon can be resined, as well. The morningstar and the Black Dragon Greataxe need a magical buff, despite being pure physical weapons.

Now, the first thing you should be aware of is that resins are stronger than the magical buff equivalent in EVERY situation they can be used in. Whether it's a battleaxe, or the Dragonslayer Crescent Axe, Gold Pine Resin WILL outperform Sunlight Blade. That is, unless you gave either a lightning infusion.

Oh, and another thing I should mention: I have not managed to find a specific, perfectly numerical damage increase for any of the buffs, just a general range.

For instance, all resins on uninfunsed, PPW get a damage increase from around 19% to 24%.

Magical buffs, on the other hand, only gave it around a 17% to 22% increase. The difference isn't huge, but it does mean that if you're a melee build, don't bother spicing down Sunlight Blade, just use a Gold Pine resin.

Now here's where it gets strange.

Say you were a mage build, and your main weapon was a dark katana, or something similar. That is an infused PPW. Infused PPW's get the highest damage increase from buffs possible. They outperform even an unfinused weapon with a resin, so one of the strongest weapons in the game is taking a lightning longsword and putting SLB on it, or something similar.

On average, the damage increase on an infused PPW is from 25% to 33%, however I have seen some crazy numbers, such as a 50% increase, depending on the opponents defenses. This is, of course, assuming you are buffing the weapon with the same element it's infused with. I'm not entirely sure on the exact damage numbers, but buffing an infused PPW with a different element is weaker than using the same element, with the only possible exception being Flame Weapon.

Speaking of which, I should probably mention something. Flame Weapon is weaker than the other magical buffs, being closer in damage increase to Magic Weapon, despite all resins being the exact same strength. Also, Resonant Weapon is literally no stronger than Dark Weapon, so just use Dark Weapon instead.

And now for the strange outliers; the BEW's.

BEW's, in general, get less of a damage increase from magical buffs than PPW's, but more from resins, however this varies slightly. In other words, the Dragonslayer Crescent Axe, a lightning axe, will get less of a benefit from Sunlight Blade than the standard battleaxe. The average damage increase on an uninfused BEW with a magical buff is around 10% to 15%, but with a resin on the few that can be resined is around 19-30%, which is only marginally weaker than using a magical buff on an infused PPW. However, an infused PPW tends to do more damage than an uninfused BEW on a magic-based build, or one that's more middle-of-the-road. A resin on an uninfused BEW usually will only outperform a magical buff on an infused PPW on a melee-based build.

Also strangely, a magical buff on an infused BEW is also rather weak, only getting about 13-18% more damage. A lightning Dragonslayer Crescent Axe is almost entirely weaker than a Lightning Battleaxe, especially if you plan on using a buff.

And finally, a quick little side note. The Lightning Clutch Ring DOES, in fact, increase the damage from a buff, even if you're using a resin on an uninfused PPW.

Anyway, I hope this little "guide" of mine was informative.
---------------------------------------------------
THINGS STILL TO TEST:
-Buffs of a different element to the infusion (e.g. Lightning Longsword with Dark Weapon)
-Buffs of a different element to the base elemental damage (Heide Knight Sword with Dark Weapon)
-Buffs on a weapon that is infused with a weapon that is a different element than the base (Fire Heide Knight Sword with Flame Weapon/Sunlight Blade)
-Buffs of a different element on a weapon infused with an element that differs from the base. (Fire Heide Knight Sword with Crystal Magic Weapon GOOD GOD THE ELEMENTS)
-Buffing a fire/dark Drakeblood Greatsword with the opposing element (hit with literally every element, mostly just for giggles)
-Literally anything involving Rotten Pine Resin or Bleeding Serum.
-Buffs on weapons with special R2's (e.g. Drakewing UGS)

SOURCE RESEARCH THREAD: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=20242&start=0
Please leave any suggestions for things that need to be researched or any criticisms/comments of my research on that thread (Be Wary of Numbers, therefor Try Reading). Anything involving the guide can go here.
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Re: Weapon Buffs and You: More Complex Than You Think

Postby mmghouse » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:41 am

Edit: this is good, but I have a recommendation: put a tl;dr section in just listing the buff damage increase ranges for each category.

Does the damage increase from lightning clutch buff drop away if you remove the ring? That is, can you get a free boost by wearing the ring only for the buff?
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Re: Weapon Buffs and You: More Complex Than You Think

Postby jumjummju » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:29 pm

mmghouse wrote:Edit: this is good, but I have a recommendation: put a tl;dr section in just listing the buff damage increase ranges for each category.


I attempted to do this by bolding the important info, but I'll put a little cheatsheet at the bottom later tonight.

Does the damage increase from lightning clutch buff drop away if you remove the ring? That is, can you get a free boost by wearing the ring only for the buff?


I'm 95% positive that, due to the way Dark Souls works, you only get the extra damage from the ring while it's on, meaning you can put the ring on after applying the buff and get it's bonus, but taking it off after putting the buff on will lose it's bonus. I'll still test this later this week, though.
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Re: Weapon Buffs and You: More Complex Than You Think

Postby zeech » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:40 am

Does resonant weapon have a different duration than dark weapon? Or are they now exactly identical except for the souls cost? Does one have more casts?
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Re: Weapon Buffs and You: More Complex Than You Think

Postby jumjummju » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:32 pm

DARK WEAPON VS RESONANT WEAPON

Everyone remembers prepatch when Resonant Weapon absolutely wrecked everything, right?

Nope.

Dark Weapon has more casts than Resonant Weapon, costs no souls to use, has the exact same damage increase, takes less slots to attune, and lasts slightly LONGER than resonant weapon.

Resonant Weapon... looks cool to apply.


So, yeah, resonant weapon is now entirely useless. GG FROMSOFT

Also, some other buffs exist in the game aside from those aforementioned magical buffs and resins. Some weapons have built in buffs, two in the base game and two in the Iron King DLC.

The Throne Defender's GS and the Watcher's GS have roughly a 31-35% increase in damage. The Possessed Sword (or at least when infused with fire) has a roughly 15% increase in damage.

The Bewitched Alonne Sword's Seppuku move increases the damage by a whopping 37.5% or so, however I am not sure on the element. (I'd assume physical.)


So, those weapons are a fucking force to be reckoned with. If you see those buffed, do NOT assume it's just a minor 10-20% increase in damage like with SLB or a resin. These are POWERFUL.
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