Everything Damage related

The basic damage formula is:

Damage= Basedam X (sum of everything that says Adds elemental damage = your Ele Pool) X (sum of everything that says increase + effective critdamage + Strength damage Boni for melee =your Increase Pool) X (debuffs on mobs Phase/Beacon)

Basedam is your weapon damage but the affixes increase damage or increases elemental damage need to be calculated out from the weapon sheets value or they get calculated twice.

-your Sword states it does 100 damage, you have a sum of 50% of affixes that ADD elemental damage, you have a sum of 200% of affixes that INCREASE damage (including your eg Anchor and eg increases damge of Group skill) you have 20% chance to crit and 200% crit damage so your effective crit damage is 40% and then your Strength is 300 resulting in 300%) and your enemy is in phased state (so they take 50% more damage):

your next hits damage (with critdam averaged over time) against a non armoured mob is: 100 x 1.5 x 6.4 x 1.5=1440 damage

This then gets modified by the mobs armor and your armor penetration.
And over time by anything that increases your fire rate/melee speed/skill userate.

Minmaxing your damage/ deciding to increase your eledamage or something else:

-In any case your INCREASE damage pool should be a good chunk higher than your Ele/ADD damage pool when deciding wether to add an elemental damage affix.This is because both pools get multiplied and increase affixes are usually double as high as adds ele affixes (eg ~21% max legendary increasedam and the max legendary 9% adds spectral damage.
it makes sense though to add a specific element even in lower values if you need that to procc certain sfx
-the best difference between your ele pool and increasedam pool varies as both get multiplied.
-in most cases your ele pool will be in the 50-150 % areas unless you do something crazy. And there you need to make sure that you have at least double the amount of your increase damage pool or it is better to first add affixes that add to the increase damage pool (allways with the assumption that there is an alternative like in the case of mods.

100% ele, 100% increasedam → adding a 10% ele mod or a 20% increasedam → obviously the 20% is better (22.2 > 2.12)
100% ele, 200% increasedam → adding a 10% ele mod or a 20% increasedam → increasedam still slightly better (23.2>2.13)
100% ele 300% increasedam → adding a 10% ele mod or a 20% increasedam → both are equal (2.14>24.2)
200% ele 300% increasedam → adding a 10% ele mod or a 20% increasedam → increasedam is a bit better (3.14<34.2)
100% ele 400% increasedam → adding a 10% ele mod or a 20% increasedam → ele is a bit better (2.15>25.2)
– i bet there are some errors-- but you get the drift

-For Melee/Strength related chars (and probably evokers that rely on minion damage for spells) the increasedam pool is naturally high so there in most cases ele is better. However the melee chars need to calculate the stat cost of an affix in because those statpoints could also go into strength and thus increasing damage via strength- this is finnicky minmaxing and is more applicable when choosing between armor pieces.
-For Evokers affixes like naturalism or spiritualism yield higher value because they most likely work globally and are not directly affected by the double focus calculation. This means a naturalism affix on the left focus will also count for the right focus - correct me if i am wrong here.

Other sources of Damage

  • ignite (1-5% of maximum HP, certain Bosses have <5%),
  • poison (10% of the poisoning hit per second over the duration modified by “damage of poison effect” which is shown on the weapon). Poison of the same source/affix stack, poison from a different source/affix resets the stack.
    -phase which makes mobs take 50% more damage and deal 50% less damage.
    -Forget about shock damage - noone so far has reliably done non negligible damage with shock.

Focus related:

basically using 2 foci (Dual Focus) results in a different damage calculation and someone has to jump in to explain it. You dont get damage of the left + damage of the right.
But rather soething like 0.6 left and 0.6 right. But thats a whole other story and will be examined later on

But on Foci you dont have a damage number stated. Instead you have a power value which together with a skill dependant modifier results in your basedam. The modifier is unknown for us: But for a lvl 50 char 150-170 power is the low end and 180+ is the higher end of power with just about 200 as a max.

A focus also states 2 sfx related values:

“All elemental increases” (have to look up the exact wording) relate to buffs for the sfx value of the skill you use. So if you use Hellfire you get a bonus ingite on that.

“x type of elemental increase” is a plain elemental sfx value that gets added to all your attacks. Which means if it states 50% phase attack strength and you have eg a trinket that adds spectral damage to your attack you can drop a swarm and have a chance to phase.


To apply a certain sfx (poison, ignite, phase, stun, shock) lets say Phase you need two things:

1.) Phase Attack Strength
2.) You need to do at least 1 point of health damage in the form of spectral damage

phase needs spectral damage
ignite needs fire damage
poison needs toxic damage
stun needs physical damage
shock needs electric damage

If you do 1.) and 2.) you get a chance to phase the mob dependant on your phase Attack strength and the mobs phase defenses.

The game is currently biased towards doing alot of hits with a lower sfx attack value vs one hit with a big attack value.

To increase your chance to apply sfx it is advisable to use the “double dip” technique:
If you want to apply the sfx that is your weapons basedamage (eg a Tropical Storm shows that it is doing physical, fire and toxic damage by default with a damage value shown in the weapons details) THEN you can add those damage types as weapon mods or affixes on your armor (eg ADDED physical damage) and get a second chance to procc that elements sfx on an attack. This also applies to strikes, grenades and all damaging skills. Their default damage type is obvious and stated in the skill description.
Beware that in case of toxic damage proccs resulting from that reset any stacking poison effects.

Also deductions on the mobs defenses via Elemental Drain or Elemental Beacon have a very high effect compared to increasing ones elemental attack values.


The correct damage formula is currently highly debated. Older and newer tests indicate that skilldamage is a multiplicator on its own, because it seems to be pretty surely multplied by strength and increasedamage related affixes. For crit related affixes it is not sure but i assume the correct damage formula to look like this:

basedamage= eledamage X skilldamage x (increasedamage + Strength bonus for Melee + Critdamage) x (Mob debuffs via Phase and Beacon)

skilldamage refers to the Damage Bonus you get by putting more skillpoints into your attack skills as stated in the skilltree (“damage increased by x%” on Sword of Reckoning). Passive Bonuses like those for Anchor, Tactical Stance, Crusader Wrath and Concentrate Damage have been changed to normal increase damage though.

There is also a high chance that affixes that state that they increase the damage of skills eg “increases damage of Shield Skills” count towards the skilldamage multiplier in an additive way.

So we end up with 3 main multipliers that we can control the values for (phase/beacon excluded for simplicity)

Ele is the hardest to get up as ele affixes are nominally the lowest.
Skilldamage in most cases starts of with ~100 in case you maxed your main skill (with a couple of exceptions). And then we can push it further with skills like:

-damage of shield skills
-damage of naturalism/spiritualism skills
-damage of combat skills
-damage of sword skills
-damage of grenade skills

Increasedamage like said consists of strength, critdam, and all increasedamage affixes. So there are plenty of ways this multiplier can be made bigger.

In fact for many chars and especially melee chars this multi is by far the biggest one.

Since a multiplication of that sort yields the highest end value the closer the factors are (2x2 is more than 1x3) it seems advisable that when deciding between nominally comparable affixes to go with the ones that push the lowest multi. Since ele is most of the time nominally half of a corresponding skilldamage or increasedamage affix this has to be factored in.

So until new findings surface to minmax i go like this:
Try to keep the skilldam and increasedam on the same level and the ele multi half of it. That way the damage should be maxed.
Now, this will not be possible in most cases but it helps to decide what to increase when there options.