Power vs Precision

 Posted by on October 18, 2012  Guides, Guild Wars 2
Oct 182012
 

After the post I made last week about gear and attributes in Guild Wars 2, I got not only a great response which I’m truly grateful for, but also had a number of really good questions and discussions with a number of friends and players. This post is the outcome of one of those discussions about the pros and cons of stacking Power over Precision. There’ll be another later about Toughness vs Vitality.

This is going to be a little bit more maths heavy than before (which was mostly just tables of options), but hopefully I can make it simple enough for most to follow without a headache!

How damage is calculated

In Guild Wars 2 according to the Wiki, damage is calculated according to the following equation:

Damage = ( Power * Weapon Damage * Skill Multiplier ) / Target’s Defence

This is just one hit though and on its own it means very little. We need to look at what happens over a number of attacks and that’s where critical chance, critical damage and precision all roll in. In order to investigate the effect of all these mechanics, I’ve had to make a number of assumptions about various values that may not be true in game. For example, I’ve assumed that all weapons deal 1000 damage, the skill multiplier is 2 and the target is a scholar who has done nothing to improve their toughness. Just because the numbers don’t tally exactly doesn’t mean the trends that they tell us aren’t useful – in fact the opposite. To minimise the effect of these assumptions, I’ve changed none of them in any of the calculations.

This means the only factor in the equation we’ll be changing is Power, and we can investigate Precision by looking at a number of attacks and varying the number. So, I have also assumed that the number of critical hits in 100 exactly tallies with the percentage chance to critical hit (ie if the critical chance is 30% then out of 100 attacks, 30 of them will be critical hits).

In the game there are lots of things that affect how much damage an attack does, including things like Might, Fury, Protection, Vulnerability and Toughness, or if it actually lands at all. You can read more about this on the Guild Wars 2 Wiki.

Your actual results will vary. 

The base line

The base line for all professions is 916 Power and 916 Precision. As was explained last time, every point in power equates to a point of attack damage, so by default all characters have 916 attack. Precision relates to the chance to do a critical hit. The first 916 Precision equates to 4% critical chance. Every 21.16 points in Precision thereafter raise the critical chance by 1% (at level 80). The amount of damage a critical attack does is controlled by Critical damage, which is based on 1.5 times the normal attack. Raising critical damage by 1% results in an extra 0.01 multiplier on damage (ie 1.51 times the normal attack).

All in all, a bog standard character will do a normal hit of 998 and a critical hit of 1497. Over 100 hits, on average they will do 101,778 damage.

Raising power

To see the effect of power, I’m going to just run through the calculations of raising it in steps of 200, probably further than is possible through equipment and gear.

Power Precision Critical Chance Critical Damage 1 hit 100 hits
916 916 4 1.5 998 101,778
1116 916 4 1.5 1,216 124,000
1316 916 4 1.5 1,434 146,222
1516 916 4 1.5 1,651 168,444
1716 916 4 1.5 1,869 190,667
1916 916 4 1.5 2,087 212,889
2116 916 4 1.5 2,305 235,111
2316 916 4 1.5 2,523 257,333
2516 916 4 1.5 2,741 279,556
2716 916 4 1.5 2,959 301,778

So looking at the trend here, we can see that an extra 200 points into power will reward the player with an extra 22,222 damage over 100 attacks.

Raising precision

Similar to what we did with power, I’m going to run through the calculations of raising precision in steps of 200.

Power Precision Critical Chance Critical Damage 1 hit 100 hits
916 916 4 1.5 998 101,778
916 1116 13 1.5 998 106,493
916 1316 23 1.5 998 111,209
916 1516 32 1.5 998 115,925
916 1716 42 1.5 998 120,640
916 1916 51 1.5 998 125,356
916 2116 61 1.5 998 130,071
916 2316 70 1.5 998 134,787
916 2516 80 1.5 998 139,503
916 2716 89 1.5 998 144,218

Once again, looking at the trend, an extra 200 points in precision raises the critical chance by 9.45%, resulting in an extra 4,715 damage over 100 attacks.

That’s a big difference

So we’ve established that (for these numbers at least) you’re going to get around 4.5 times more damage putting 200 points into Power rather than Precision. So are there any reasons at all to put points into Precision?

The answer is yes, to a point. There are a number of skills that have effects that fire on a critical hit, so increasing the chance to critical hit is something you want to do – you just don’t want to ignore power so much that your character is very weak. So if you raise your Precision up, you might want to consider raising Power as a secondary attribute to make sure the attacks that do become critical hits do even more damage. Of course, this will mean sacrificing points you can put into your survival or other wanted benefits.

In reality, Power and Precision aren’t mutually exclusive. Many armor and jewellery pieces have both Power and Precision on them in varying proportions. Working out exactly what proportions you need to get the best out of your character isn’t easy (we haven’t factored in condition damage or might for example) but hopefully you’ve now got an idea of which is better for you!

Of course, these aren’t the only common considerations for characters – I’ll be taking a look at Toughness and Vitality soon.

Your Feedback

I value it. A lot. If you’ve noticed a mistake somewhere, something isn’t clear or just want to give me a virtual cookie you can do so below or on Twitter. Thanks for reading and for sharing!

  7 Responses to “Power vs Precision”

  1. [...] Attached to Keyboard — Power vs Precision. “After the post I made last week about gear and attributes in Guild Wars 2, I got not only a great response which I’m truly grateful for, but also had a number of really good questions and discussions with a number of friends and players. This post is the outcome of one of those discussions about the pros and cons of stacking Power over Precision. There’ll be another later about Toughness vs Vitality.” [...]

  2. Why am I the only comment here?
    Now that you’ve laid it out in front of me, it is staggering quite how much more effective power is than precision. I think you’re right that most people will go for beserkers armour anyway – which means they’ll be stacking power primarily, with precision second and then crit damage third.

  3. Have you thought about adding a dual attribute spreadsheet as well ie.. Power/precision vs precision/critdamage or others

  4. [...] Power vs Precision… i would have prefered a sort of 2 part breakdown as well ie.. power/precision vs precision crit damage or something like that since stat allocation has a primary and secondary damage component (sometimes 1 or 3 too) [...]

  5. @j3w3l: I have, but like you hinted on the blog post you linked to this (thank you for that by the way), the combinations can get complex very quickly. That was not the aim of this series of posts, which are intended to guide people who don’t like calculators, or have the kind of obsession with spreadsheets that I do, into making informed decisions about their equipment.

    That said, I am working on an overall spreadsheet that will help people compare different equipment choices into damage output over time and the number of hits they can survive. It should be out before the end of the week.

  6. The probelm with comparing precision to power is that precision itself is not the damage stat, its a supporting stat. Also precision can be lowered if traits are taken that priovide additional crit chance or Fury has a high uptime.

    Comparing precision/crit damage to about 70%/50% (around 2300 prec with maybe 300-400 power) vs power/precision may provide a more relevant answer.

  7. Unfortunately many do see precision as a damage stat and I’ve seen people stack it inappropriately to the detriment of their damage output. Like so much about gear choices, it is hard to generalise a best path because of the sheer number of choices when it comes to professions, traits and weapons combined with play style and competence.

    You bring up a valid criticism about the comparison though and I’ll work through a few practical PvE gear examples for a later blog post.

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