Dragon Nest CN Final Damage Analysis

Dragon Nest CN Final Damage Analysis by sieg_freedom

Final Damage (FD) is often an over-glorified and misunderstood stat, but there is no doubting it’s potency. Yet, what exactly is it that makes the pursuit of Final Damage so alluring? How do (should) I build FD? Is it a must to build FD? How much damage can FD give me? This discussion will hopefully help people in gaining a better understanding of Final Damage.

Firstly, please refer to Chaos’ guide regarding Final Damage for the basics

I shall first attempt to address several common misconceptions that I know of

1. Final Damage is calculated at the very end of the damage equation. No. To be exact, there is no meaning to whether it is or not. An illustration to demonstrate the case – Let your original skill damage be A

A * 2 (critical) * 2 (ice stack, 2 layers) * 2 (damage debuff cap) * (1 + ele atk%) * (1 + FD%)

Does it matter which is multiplied by which first? The effect is EXACTLY THE SAME. Multipliers act upon the damage of A as a whole, regardless of whether it is FD, critical, ice etc. If someone tells you FD is worth stacking because it is applied “at the end of the damage equation”, then they fail to understand the concept of how multipliers work. There is ONLY ONE “multiplier” which does not involve amplifying the whole of A – your attack or magic attack stat. Yes, FD works on tail damage. It’s nothing special. Every other multiplier outside of A does as well.

2. “Final Damage should be stacked only if you can reach x% or not at all”. This is definitely not true. While there are certain arguments that can demonstrate why this advice is solid, from a DAMAGE perspective, it is incredibly hard to out-do a gain in the FD multiplier. I will touch upon this later.

3. The maximum increase from the FD multiplier is 100%, or *2. Nope. The FD multiplier can be pushed beyond 100%. The FD multiplier simply stated is (1 + FD% + plate % + buff %). The cap of 100% is in the second factor alone. I will touch upon this later as well.

Here’s the burning question – Why Final Damage? Why is this stat so hyped? If it works the same as any other multiplier, isn’t the cost not worth it? To answer this, we will have to go through the advantages and limitations of multipliers in Dragon Nest.

Firstly, we will have to understand the concept of the law of diminishing returns. That is, the higher you stack any multiplier, the lesser the return from a constant gain. A easy to understand demonstration is the effectiveness of balance

(5*5) > (6*4) > (7*3) > (8*2) > (9*1)

As you can see, when we are attempting to achieve the highest possible output using the same amount of resources, you can achieve it best by carefully balancing all multipliers, instead of overly focusing on any. This is from a purely numerical perspective, and not totally applicable to Dragon Nest due to more complicated considerations, which I will cover later.

Secondly, most multipliers have a corresponding resistance that lowers the effectiveness of that stat. Critical’s effectiveness is reduced by critical resistance, the type of attack is reduced by the corresponding defence, and elemental attacks can be boosted by ele %, as well as reduced by ele resistance %.

Thirdly, the concept that multipliers multiply. ^^ While this seems like a redundant statement, it basically means that the more multipliers that can be stacked (for a skill), the higher the POTENTIAL damage increase, on an exponential level. This is also what made elemental classes so desirable, when elemental resistance wasn’t as much of a concern.

So, what makes FD such a highly coveted stat then?

– The exponential gain in FD % from stacking a “constant” FD value the more you have of it overcomes the diminishing returns from stacking any multiplier. For example

If I had 0% Light Attack, and I get a pot of 8% light after that, the total increase to my damage is *(1.08)
If I had 100% Light Attack, and I get a pot of 8% light after that, the total increase to my damage is *(2.08)/(2) or *1.04, a 4% increase

If I had 0 FD, and I get DD/HT accessories set (223), I would have 4% FD, the total increase to my damage is *(1.04)
If I had 1622 FD (around 75% FD), and I get DD/HT accessories set (223), I would have 100% FD, the total increase to my damage is *(2)/(1.75) or *1.1428, a 14.3% increase approximately

Where most multipliers have a static increase, and suffer from the law of diminishing returns, FD’s exponential nature runs counter to that.

The gain from FD is absolute, and is unaffected by a corresponding resistance. Let us take Critical as an example for comparison, since people usually advice to stack crit over FD if FD is not affordable.

If you have 0% Crit, the effect of a 50% critical resistance is nothing
If you have 50% Crit, the effect of a 50% critical resistance lowers the damage contribution from the critical multiplier to *1.25 (25% reduced damage in the long run)
If you have 89% Crit (max), the effect of a 50% critical resistance lowers the damage contribution from the critical multiplier to *1.445 (44.5% reduced damage in the long run)

The higher your critical, the greater the impact of Critical Resistance lowering your total damage output. Even if both give *2 damage, and critical can reach 100% –

100% FD, 100% Crit on 50% Crit Resist => 3A
100% FD, 0% Crit on 50% Crit Resist => 2A
0% FD, 100% Crit on 50% Crit Resist => 1.5A
0% FD, 0% Crit on 50% Crit Resist => A

FD’s effectiveness is absolute, while other multipliers often have to contend with resistance or other issues. (Buff/debuff removal and expiry, ice stacking not permanent etc.)

And finally, FD gives an extra multiplier for you to amplify your damage upon, compared to if you have 0 FD.

P.S. Building FD has one more advantage – if it gives equivalent damage compared to a non-FD option, you can enjoy a HIGHER % increase at lower level nests (particularly the HC nest of a previous level cap)

P.P.S FD and Crit are not comparable. The critical % chance DEPENDS ON YOUR OWN LEVEL. FD% DEPENDS ON THE TARGET’s LEVEL.

Sources of FD

Gear set bonuses
Accessory set bonuses
Title
Cash Items
Plates

Generally, these are the sources of FD you should obtain in order of common sense/resources expended. The generic nest set FD bonus is practically a given. Accessories wise, FD accessories are not always the best option for every class – refer to class guides / do your own calculations for gain/loss. The dark lair related titles give FD. (but they take more time and effort to obtain) Cash items (CDN only) are the next consideration – you might get lucky with free eggs from Shanda events, or occasions where they release the tuangou for the 3 set. Using plates (the default FD plate aside) is the most expensive options if you want to use A plates. B plates are actually a very viable option for building FD, the stat loss is not that huge, and you might not even NEED those stats, while FD is a guaranteed boost. I wouldn’t say everyone should build FD with B plates, but for DPS classes that require FD, do your own calculations and consider it.

How should one build FD?

The real question to ask is, is the benefit worth the cost/sacrifice? If you have determined that it is, there are 3 cases for building FD that one can consider

1. Stack FD at all costs

This is quite a common approach, and not very recommended by me. Without proper calculation, one can easily be sacrificing too much (in the form of gain from other multipliers) for the sake of building FD alone. This is not necessarily wrong, but I highly suggest that this is attempted only when you are SURE you can max your FD (consider it as a project of sorts)

2. Build FD only at the very end

Basically, ignore FD considerations up till the point you have completed a character that is “optimal” without FD, to the point that pushing any other stat further will be worse off/no gain compared to gaining FD. The disadvantage of this approach is that the overall cost can be quite high, since a massive gear overhaul might be required if you intend to stack FD to high levels. The benefit is that it will be much more simpler to directly compare % increase/loss when considering how to balance multipliers, and has a more flexible gearing process. If at any point you stop, you would still have a character at an “optimal” level of FD compared to what you had before. People who follow this method usually only plan on having a small amount of FD, and can choose to abandon it easier for non damage considerations / better options (such as S grade over A grade gear)

3. The pro method

People who know exactly how and why to build FD. This process involves a lot of planning and calculations, extremely suitable for those who are keen to optimize their damage at every stage of the game. If you study FD and try building a character with it, you will know exactly how this goes ^^

The cons of FD

Cost is of course the main obstacle in the procuring of FD. It is not the only reason not to get FD though.

Firstly, let us take a look at the FD multiplier (1 + % FD + % plate + % buff)

1 – Original skill damage
+% FD (the FD% in your status window)
+% plate (skill plates crafted with +20% damage option)
+% buff (non-exhaustive list includes Magical Breeze, Cheating Point)

There is NO cap to the FD multiplier with the exclusion of the second factor. The maximum damage increase for the second factor is 100%, based on the target’s level. Unfortunately for FD, plates and buffs are constant %, leading to the law of diminishing returns once again (i.e. diluted gains from FD)
(Yes, plates don’t directly add to the skill damage, but instead does it’s amplification through FD. This means that you only get +20% to your skill damage if you have 0 FD, and no FD related buffs)

If you have 0 FD, the % damage increase from a DMG plate is 20/(100+0) = 20%
If you have 50% FD, the % damage increase from a DMG plate is 20/(100+50) = 13.33%
If you have 100% FD, the % damage increase from a DMG plate is 20/(100+100) = 10%

For an Artillery for example, when we count in the Magical Breeze buff (Level 3)-

If you have 100% FD, the % damage increase from a DMG plate is 20/(100+100+15) = 9.3%

In other words, for classes with built in FD buffs, and make heavy use of their DMG plates, FD’s gain is LESS IMPACTFUL on them COMPARED to classes which does not have those buffs/have high usage of DMG plates. This does not mean not to build FD, it is simply an understanding that the gain is lesser comparatively. This understanding is important as it means that the POSSIBILITY of ALTERNATIVE options (aside from stacking FD) to catch up/overtake the potential damage increase from stacking FD is more likely to occur.

The “worst” of these cases is Artillery – with low cooldowns on main plated DPS skills, along with a permanent FD buff in the form of Magical Breeze, stacking FD produces the least return for an Artillery. (On the other hand, the high built in FD is also why Artillery can output incredible numbers with lesser gear investment)

Next, the issue of gear flexibility. With the exception of FD plates, you will have to “keep” some of your gear in order to maintain the FD value. For 60 Cap – Do you keep your nest armor or upgrade to 60S? Do you keep your bloody weapons when 50L finally drops in GDN HC? The higher your FD, the greater the loss in swapping out any of these gear. A FD stacker is often at an impasse when it comes to gear progression – refusing to give up on hard-earned and carefully stacked FD, but craving the overall potential from higher grade options.

There is no real solution to this conundrum. You have to decide for yourself what is optimal for you. This is also the main reason why “if you can’t stack FD to x%, then don’t bother” is a solid piece of advice for some people. Not all classes should pursue damage to the exclusion of all else, and not all classes benefit equally from FD.

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Just a short PoV from my experience as a DPS in a raid party

While I would not mind party members contributing more DPS, it is my most sincere desire that they don’t die instead of taking the risk for more damage. Damage is what I can do, there’s all the things that they can do that I can’t. When they die, more and more options are denied to me (no guardian force for poison wall mistakes, no heals, no Time Acceleration etc.) and my efficiency goes down as a whole. If they are unable to survive while attempting to DPS, I would rather they not do so and just focus on their job.

More damage isn’t everything. Being able to carry out your job is. I suppose that’s why so many people rather play as the DPS. ^^

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The nature of FD makes it very addictive. There have been many players whom I know where from the point they started stacking FD past the exponential range, the idea of stopping is “impossible”. Many of them go on to stack (and max) FD on all their characters.

If one is not ready for the challenges of stacking FD, it can be a very frustrating experience and sour your relationship with the game. Understanding how FD works, being able to calmly decide what ALLOWS YOU TO DO YOUR JOB BETTER etc. helps a lot when it comes to balancing gain/loss.

In what cases is stacking Final Damage not desirable?

Firstly, Final Damage should NOT (in most cases) hinder you from doing your job. If a +1 skill accessory is going to make a huge difference to the entire performance of the party / stability of the run, I can never recommend giving it up for the sake of slightly higher personal DPS output.

Secondly, Final Damage is NOT always the strongest multiplier you are able to obtain in terms of gear choices (Refer to my Artillery guide for an example). For classes with HIGH % on skills and low tail damage, the performance difference between stacking PDMG/MDMG and FD is lesser. (On the other hand, classes with a low skill damage %: tail damage ratio benefits immensely from FD). If a gearing option will allow you equivalent or higher damage potential than FD, then give up on FD.

Thirdly, it is just a fact that players have differing skill level / lag issues. Some players can easily opt to lower survivability for more damage, with the absolute confidence in skill (and internet connection) that they can handle it. For others, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG in lowering damage output for survival so that you can survive and do your job. Trust me, your party members will be more grateful to you for doing that. (raid-wise)

Cheap FD Set-ups for 60 Cap

This is a very common question that I have gotten, so might as well post a sample here

4x DD/HT Armor (276 FD)
2x Bloody Weapons (267 FD)
HT/DD Accessories (223 FD)
FD Plate (258)
Dark Lair Title (50)

From this point onwards, we have already gone past the exponential range. IF you are comfortable with using 60B + FD plates, without the plate expansion slots you can get another 45*7 FD, for a total of 1389 FD. (Over 50%) Pretty respectable set-up I would say, would work well for Gladiators and Engineers particularly (Nope for Artillery)

The “cheapest” max FD Set-up

7x GA set (276 + 294 + 294 = 864 FD)
HT/DD Accessories (223 FD)
FD Plate (258 FD)
Dark Lair Title (50 FD)
10 60B + FD plates (450 FD)

Total 1845 FD (5 FD away from max)

Why is it hard to out-do the FD Multiplier?

Aside from PDMG/MDMG, all other options have limitations that reduces their effective gain in damage, aside from resists. That is namely, the ease of obtaining them.

As long as you have an archer with you, there is a minimum of +20% critical chance. That is to say, going higher than 69% while reducing potential damage increase on other multipliers is detrimental to your damage output. To make it worse, Owl’s Insight at Level 3 can last for the whole duration of Time Acceleration, making Critical obsolete for that whole period of time.

Paladin auras and priest buffs etc. causes diminishing returns from stacking ele %.

Debuffs hitting a hard cap of 100% reduces the effectiveness of +1 debuff accessories as compared to solo / 4 man nests. It is quite possible at 60 cap to hit the debuff cap without Hemo +1, Bulls Eye +1, Force Mirror +1. This will be worse at 70 cap with Saint’s Binding Relic EX +20%.

FD is entirely individual, based on class skills, gear, and plates. The gain from the FD multiplier is constant, no one can dilute the effective rate of having stacked it. (In terms of absolute % contribution to damage)

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While this section is not a direct comparison against FD, this is quite an important consideration when deciding how to gear. The PDMG/MDMG calculations are often misunderstood, leading to very erroneous assumptions. Here, I shall attempt to explain how PDMG/MDMG works. I shall refer to the variable as DMG, since they share the same formula

DMG is calculated by:

Base DMG * (1+% from equipment) * (1+% from buffs/skills)

% from equipment includes pots, plates, cash costumes
% from buffs/skills includes (non-exhaustive list: Rock of Blessing, Striking, Weapon Mastery, Arcane, large amount of the 65 passives, BATTLE HOWL)

In DDN, the third factor has a cap of 100%.

There are 2 things to take note of here –

1. ALL % gain from SKILLS/BUFFS become extremely diluted in a raid.
2. Battle Howl does not add to raw damage at all

Battle Howl is converted to a % based on your BASE DMG, and for damage calculation purposes (and hitting the 100% cap) is treated as a % under the (1+% from buffs/skills) multiplier. Yes, Battle Howl DOES NOT benefit from Striking etc, since it is not under the first 2 factors, but instead lumped into the same category with them. This is part of the reason why Battle Howl is NOT SO EFFECTIVE.

DMG is the only “multiplier” that does not affect tail damage, and is thus not a good comparison against the other multipliers which does. However, it is a multiplier that has huge growth potential in a raid from stacking buffs, and is NOT PART of the 50x DMG cap in DDN. Of course, since reaching the 50X cap is nearly impossible, this has no real meaning.

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The DMG stat is the most important factor in balancing damage output from overall multipliers against FD. Since there are too many variables, I won’t be listing a direct comparison here. Just keep in mind that if the effect of changes in multipliers MULTIPLIED (I was once directed to a post that added them =.=”) surpasses the effect of pure FD, the pure FD choice is indeed inferior for that situation.

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Hopefully, the difference in gearing consideration for solo/raids is more evident now, and why some multipliers should be favoured over another for each individual class should be clearer as well. Yes, going WIND Armor for the sake of Critical is pretty “dumb” in terms of raid considerations. Let your team cover that which you cannot achieve on your own, while MAXIMIZING the multipliers that can get the highest overall boost is the key to optimization (in terms of damage). Remember that above all else, the ability to properly DO YOUR JOB is always the foremost concern above dealing damage. (DPS classes aside, your job is to deal damage ^^)

Through this article, I hope that people can gain a better understanding of Final Damage, as well as how it can help improve your PvE performance despite using the less expensive options (and not reaching x%)

There’s actually a lot more that can be covered, but I will leave this as the first completed version for now.

Elemental Attack vs Final Damage

It is often taken to be true that ele % and FD % are directly comparable. Unfortunately, that assumption is false. The condition which allows this to be true is when ele % and FD % are both at 0.

Let us take the case of an Elestra stacking Ice %. Assuming that 3 out of 4 weapons/rings already have a 8% ice pot. How much damage increase does getting another 8% ice atk pot give?

1.32/1.24 = 1.0645 (6.45% increase to damage)

With Elemental Aura (Level 4)
1.56/1.48 = 1.054 (5.4% increase to damage)

Adding on the 65 passive

1.66/1.58 = 1.0506 (5.06% increase to damage)

But Sieg, doesn’t FD suffer from the law of diminishing returns? In terms of constant %, yes, FD does indeed suffer from the same issue. However, that is NOT how FD is calculated. FD translates into a % multiplier based on your FD value and  the target’s level, giving exponential returns once past a certain point.

To put things into perspective, IF you have only 24% ice, in a party with a paladin that is using Level 4 Elemental Aura and have the 65 passive, a 5% growth in FD, from 0%, rivals getting a 8% ice attack pot. It is quite evident that ele % and FD % are NOT EQUIVALENT in most scenarios. Balancing multipliers will give you more damage as opposed to stacking too highly on one. Of course, there are always people who can push all multipliers to the extreme. Fortunately, these people don’t have a need for guides or mathematics. The bank can do it for them.

The other advantages for FD

– Affects non-elemental skills as well (Void Explosion anyone? ^^)
– Classes utilizing multiple elements need to stack more than 1 ele % (made harder with Dragon Jade system)
– Gain cannot be diluted by external sources

The most important concept is that balancing multipliers generally yield the highest return, with some multipliers having a lesser effect (diluted gains) IF you stack on them, due to diminishing returns/resists etc.

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