Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Better Damage through Education!

A common sickness I observe when discussing Warhammer Online with others is big-damage-number-syndrome. Big-damage-number-syndrome is a severe condition in which a player bases their judgment of a player's skill or relative worth on strictly the amount of damage dished out.

Deathblows? Who cares! Player Deaths? Who cares! Kills, teamwork, usefulness to the team, ability to assist, ability to choose targets wisely? WHO CARES ABOUT ALL OF THAT SHIT, IT IS ALL ABOUT THAT BIG TIME DAMAGE YO!

This kind of thinking really pisses me off. Any idiot can run into a zerg of enemy players spamming AOE attacks and get high damage numbers. This does not make you useful. This does not make you skilled. This makes you an unfortunate bumbling retard infected with big-damage-number-syndrome and the first idiot to get targeted.

A classic case of big-damage-number-syndrome can be seen here:

Oh my goodness. The horror! The horror! This sorc literally ran into order bombing and died eight times without killing anyone except himself. I did half of his damage, but killed 10 people and doubled his renown. But according to those infected with big-damage-number-syndrome, the sorc is the best player in the scenario!

What really brought up this rage from me was a recent post on the Gorfang Warhammer Alliance forum. Some new transfer Shadow Warrior recently posted the following screenshot bragging about how good he was.

Proof that I am not just making this up

I am not joking. This is a particularly severe effect of big-damage-number-syndrome as he got his ass stomped in and still thought he was playing well. Makes me want to go cry in my corn flakes for any semi-talented players that ever played this game.

Damage is an important number to check, but really deaths and deathblows are much more important. Deathblows do not tell the whole story either as many people just steal killing blows by auto-attacking people until they are under 50% health and then opening up with instant attack spam for the win. But, if your throwing out hundreds of thousands of points of damage and not killing anything, then you have a serious problem.

In this game single-target damage is everything. You pick a good target, you debuff it, and you kill it. When I play my Shadow Warrior it is not uncommon for me to see me putting my snare, initiative debuff, ranged dot, healing debuff, snare proc, armor debuff, armor debuff proc, and knockdown on a single target before opening up with my 1s attack spam. I like to kill stuff, not let it escape, and most certainly not spam useless damage.


It makes me cry how bad that last one is. Me and my buddy Gorsten the Bright Wizard were having issues cracking through healing in that SC and the damage is way too high to be even remotely efficient. That screenshot makes me sad, not proud.

So kids, do not become infected with big-damage-number-syndrome. Low deaths, high deathblows, and the damage to support your deathblows is what you want. Focused damage: not lol i can hit everyone for 100 damage every 10 seconds for the entire scenario. Tell your momma this it how it is done:

Good damage, excellent killing blows for a pug scenario, and most importantly efficient and effective damage which translates directly to lots of renown and destro face stomping. Word to your mother.


  1. I'm glad there isn't a scoreboard in open RVR. In our vent, we tend to view it on a Damage per Deathblow if we even really consider it at all. Now certainly, we all gawk at really big numbers when they show up from time to time, but just because it's fun to see big numbers sometime. We certainly don't attribute skill to it. The same thing can be said for Healing #s as well. Did your heals really keep people alive or were you just topping off people after some AOE bombs?

  2. Pretty much the same as the last comment. I tend to do some quick division in my head and see about how much damage I'm dealing per killing blow. If that number is anywhere between 5 and 7k, then I'm happy. Anything less and I'm performing below optimal output and anything more and their healing is too much for just one choppa.

  3. You shouldn't tell people the obvious, keeps it more entertaining for me. Lileath / Split arrow spamm must be win, amirite?

    Still, I love the people that rather build around being the 1 minute man for the perfect Fester Bomb. 5-6k spike / minute makes up for being the wet noodle you're in between. Huzzah!

  4. That first screen-shot is commedy gold.

    Good post, I'm not sure about killing-efficiency as the most important stat, it seems to rely largely on how good your opposition is, bad healing and tanking would give you great damage per kill, but wouldn’t say a great deal about how well you played. All the stats are useful, and can’t really be look at independently, including who won the scenario. It’s all very susceptible to distortion anyway, generally I know if I’ve had a good game, before I see the scorecard.


  5. I gotta agree with you man.

    A wise man once said to me in daoc.

    its not about how many people you "DAMAGE"

    but WHO... you KILL.

    at the time, my friend and I were spirit masters. and we always wanted to aoe everything and look at all the pretty numbers.
    but what good was aoe bombing 4 tanks if the healers were still alive?
    the best way to win a fight was to eliminate the best targets. So I went to respec to single target damage and the rest is history. changed my outlook on pvp gaming from then on.