Critical hits FAQ

Critical Hits: Got to sometimes feel like, oh my god, life’s so good.

What happens when I crit?

Nothing. By default, critical hits have no inherent effect; you must slot feats with "on critical" effects in order to gain any benefit whatsoever from successful crits.

OK, what are these "on critical" feats?

There are only 3 types:

1) The longbow attack "Impact Critical Shot" has a knockdown and knockback effect on crit.
2) The wizard role feature "Evoker" applies a bunch of effects on crit: a DOT, a will defense debuff, a base attack debuff, a perception debuff, and a slow.
3) The Critical Reactive feats offer a variety of on-crit effects and are the primary method for most players to exploit crits.
* Deafening Critical: debuffs base attack and perception
* Exhausting Critical: reduces max stamina and stamina regen
* Sickening Critical: applies a stackable DOT and debuffs Reflex
* Staggering Critical: applies a slow
* Stunning Critical: percentage chance for a 2 second stun.

If you're not slotting any of those feats then your criticals do exactly nothing.

Should I even bother?

Probably, but not necessarily. If you're built as a pure caster, the critical reactives are the only reactive feats you have access to; you may as well choose 2 and slot them. If you're a fighter or rogue, you have access to role-specific reactives you may like better, but even so, if you choose not to slot any critical reactives then every crit you inflict is an opportunity missed. You'll have to decide for yourself if the benefit of doubling up on role reactives justifies the lost potential of all your crits.

Note that the value of "improved critical" (and to a lesser extent "precise" ) on the attacks you choose to slot is negated if your crits don't do anything, so keep your attack repertoire in mind as you think about this.

OK then, I want to crit hard and often! How do I crit more?

The full math is boring and nerdy; here's the short version.

In order to have any chance to crit your attack roll must equal or exceed the target's defense; partial hits can never crit. So you want to improve your base attack bonus and your category attack bonus, you want to train into and use T2 or T3 weapons and attacks, and you want to use attacks with the Precise modifier.

Some attacks have the Improved Critical modifier. This will obviously improve your chance of rolling a crit, but ONLY if you successfully landed a full hit; when given a choice, you should generally prefer Precise over Improved Crit.

You'll also crit more often versus opponents with weak defenses versus your offense type (reflex, will, or fortitude; all weapon attacks are reflex), and opponents with lower tier armor. In addition, there's a crit chance reduction based on armor weight class: you'll crit more often versus opponents in robes than those in plate.

Crit chance is normalized for attack speed, so you have a better chance to get a crit with one slow attack than one fast attack.

I'm a big nerd.

That's not a question, but fine, here's the math.

Stephen Cheney
Whenever you make an attack, you add a random result from 1-200 (curved based on tier) to your attack bonuses (from Base Attack, specific Attack, and effects) and compare against the target's Defense (which is a sum of Base Defense from armor, specific defense, and effects).

If the result is less than the target's defense, the margin of failure is converted into reduced damage.

If the result is equal to or greater than the target's defense, we then check for a crit:
* Find the margin of success (e.g., you needed to hit 80 and got 90, so your MoS is 10).
* Add that to improved critical (if your feat has Improved Critical +20, you're now up to 30).
* Subtract the target's crit resistance (only from armor right now; 4 for light, 16 for medium, and 32 for heavy; so if the target's in medium, that 30 crit chance goes back down to 14).

We then take the square root of that number and multiply by the attack speed to get the crit percentage chance. 14 has a root of 3.74, so if you had that on a 2.3 speed attack your final crit chance would be approximately 8.6%.

I'm apparently not that big a nerd.

Still not a question. OK, here's a real world example.

An attacker using a T1 Longbow and Overdraw versus an opponent in Pot Plate+2 with Unbreakable 4.

First, let's figure out the total attack value:
* he's got a T1 weapon so we'll take the low roll from 3d200. Let's say we got the median T1 roll of 42.
* he's trained up Base Attack and Ranged Attack to a total of +30.
* Overdraw has Precise +10.
His total attack value is 82. This is versus Reflex as with all physical attacks.

Now the defense value:
* all T1 armor has a base defense of 50.
* he gets an extra 3 points of reflex from his armor feat matching 3 keywords on his armor.
* he has Reflex Bonus 2 trained, for +8 more.
* he has Lightning Reflexes 2 slotted, for a final +4.
His total defense value is 65.

82 >= 65, so the attack will do full damage and we have a chance to crit. Hurray! Now we do the crit roll.

* Margin of Success is 82-65 = 17
* Overdraw has Improved Crit 30
* Heavy armor has crit resistance of 32
* Net margin is 17 + 30 - 32 = 15 points.
* Square root of 15 is 3.87.
* Attack speed of Overdraw is 3.5
So your final chance to crit this attack is 3.87 * 3.5 = 13.55%.

Dude, you must be like the smartest orc ever.

You really don't get this "question" thing, do you.
^This is Dak (Charlie George). RIP <Guurzak>
Dazyk of Phaeros
Nice job Guurzak, very well explained.
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If I recall, didn't they mention that they want to change Critical hits later on to do something in the base case?
What happens when I crit?

Nothing. By default, critical hits have no inherent effect; you must slot feats with "on critical" effects in order to gain any benefit whatsoever from successful crits.

It is my understanding that Injuries are still part of the design. I think they might even be implemented, and might be the cause of some of the "I'm not regenning hit points" complaints.

From Gentlemen, You Can't Fight in Here! This is the War Room!:

If a critical hit is scored, the character suffers an Injury. An Injury is a long-term debuff that continues to affect the character until the character receives a certain amount of healing, with the amount depending on the severity of the critical.

From Murder by Numbers:

If the result of the roll plus the attack bonus equaled or exceeded the target's defense, the attack does full damage and has a chance to be a critical hit. This is a separate randomized calculation that compares the attack's crit rating to the target's crit resistance. A critical hit doesn't do more damage, but instead applies an injury that debilitates the target for some time. NPCs (who wouldn't care about long-term drawbacks) immediately expend injuries for additional damage.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
I'm mostly confident that injuries are not yet implemented; if they were, I'd have expected injury healing to be mentioned in the implementation discussion of taverns.
^This is Dak (Charlie George). RIP <Guurzak>
When I read "certain amount of healing", it seems reasonable to me that the minimum viable implementation might include natural regen.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Later dev posts on the topic clarified that "healing" specifically meant "healing expendables", not natural or orisons.
^This is Dak (Charlie George). RIP <Guurzak>
Later dev posts on the topic clarified that "healing" specifically meant "healing expendables", not natural or orisons.

Someone once asked me "Don't you believe Ryan when he says the system does X?" It was pretty easy for me to say "No". I'm not even sure I'd trust the programmer who wrote the system (keep in mind, I'm a programmer). The only people I'd trust to tell me how the system actually works are the testers and eventually the users. They might make assumptions about the code that aren't valid, but they're usually pretty reliable in describing the observed behavior of the system - much more than project managers who are basing their descriptions on design discussions rather than empirical observations.

At the same time, I'm quite willing to accept that the "not regenning health" situation is probably a bug, which is why I heavily emphasized "might" in my posts above.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Can you link to Ryan posting about that? So, we are stuck with a perma-debuff until we find someone with a cleric expendable heal?
Ryan Dancey
Yeah, the number of times I've said "game works like x" and then it turned out that was not accurate is frighteningly high. It's a super complex system and not everything works as intended yet. You should always double check if you have a question and especially if you have a reproducible set of actions that leads to an outcome that doesn't match what you think it should. (Those are really juicy - tell us about them please!)

To the best of my knowledge (hahahahahaha) Crits work as described in the OP. There's no injuries yet.
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