Help with understanding damage

Hey, I’m relatively new to the game, still level 72, and as I progress and am trying to find new gear etc I often find myself lost trying to understand why one weapon is better over another.
Just to clarify, I did read a lot of material on that but I couldn’t quite find some answers and I’m still slightly lost. Sorry if this is not the place to ask that

Anyway, I guess my first question is: is there a way to see my base damage for a specific damage type? Like base void damage, for example.
Reason I ask is because sometimes I find a weapon with +x void damage and +% increased void damage, and I’d like to know which one is a bigger increase, however without knowing my base damage I can’t really objectively compare then… Not that I know of.

Which brings me to my second question: sometimes I have to pick between two weapons, and given my stats I’m 100% sure weapon A will output more damage than weapon B, however the skill DPS in the tooltip tells me otherwise.
What I mean is, I’m playing a void knight, I’m stacking void melee damage.
My main skills are abyssal echoes, void cleave and erasing strike. Basically I use abyssal echoes to nerf the enemy (shred armor, slow, etc) and then use the sinergies between void cleave and erasing strike, with rive as fillers if I’m on cooldown or out of mana. So basically my main damage skills scale with void, melee and strength, mostly.

For example, take my last laugh here:

It gives me +40 melee damage and +5 strength as affixes that will affect my skills damage. I don’t believe the physical damage boost would affect any skills but Rive. There’s also a 22% increased melee attack speed but I don’t think that would be a massive boost for the one shot skills. Maybe for rive that’d be good.

Now, this axe here:

It gives me +65 flat melee damage compared to the Last Laugh, which is great as it would affect all my skills, including Rive. On top of that, +152% increased melee damage.

Honestly, my heart would tell me the second one would give me a lot more damage.
Except for the +% attack speed, the only thing the Last Laugh seems to have going for it is the +5 str, which doesn’t sound like THAT much.

With the Last Laugh equiped I have:
Erasing Strike DPS: 17,618
Void Cleave DPS: 17,265
Rive DPS: 13,709

With the axe:
Erasing Strike DPS: 17,311
Void Cleave DPS: 14,663
Rive DPS: 14,228

What gives? Is it because the DPS stat will take into account the other affixes effects as well? Like instantly kill enemies etc.
I’m confused because honestly, when swapping from the Last Laugh to the axe I’d expect Erasing Strike & Void Cleave to have higher damage, and Rive to have less since the Last Laugh also has +flat physical damage. But the opposite is happening. I also have another axe with 300% increased void damage and I’m seeing the same thing, worst DPS for these skills.

So, sorry if this is a silly question but I’m stumped!

Most skills do not have large amounts of base damage, so this is neglectable for the most part.

Most flat damage comes from weapons, passives and items. While some skills have flat damage in their skill tree, that is the minority of flat damage.

Skill tooltip dps does take everything into account. Ailments, Shred, Attack/Cast Speed etc.

Especialyl early on ailment chance for damage ailments for example contribute alot to the tooltip dps, even though you are not focusing on them.

Also tooltip dps work very bad with skilsl that have cooldown or have high mana cost, because you can’t really use them that often realistically

From the skills you mentioned ES and VC are skills that tooltip dps works very badly.
Also abyssal echoes is a rough one, because essentially it is a DoT skill, but you can trigger the damage manually. So the tooltip sucks as well :smiley:

Regarding the two items you posed last Laugh has Flat Base crit (I assume you don’t have 100+ dodge?) and also armour shred, both contribute massively towards your dmg.

In-game? Generally no. is your friend.

Generally attack skills have low base damage (~2 or so) & spells and throwing skills have substantially higher base damage (in the 20s). This is to give the impression that melee/bow skills are weapon-based. Higher flat damage weapons are usually better unless they’re much slower.

And the +55 melee phys for a total of +95.

Nope, you missed out the first modifier on Last Laugh plus the sword has much higher attack rate which is multiplicative with any attack speed modifiers from gear, skills & passives.

In general, flat damage is harder to come across so should be prioritised. After that, attack speed is a very good thing to get unless you’re going with a skill that either has a cooldown or a high mana cost (so you can’t spam it much). % increase damage is probably the least effective modifier after you have lots of it since it’s additive with all other applicable % increased damage modifiers.

The in-game game guide has the formulae for damage.

Also, skills have different added damage effectiveness modifiers, which are a % modifier to any flat damage you have, generally slower/more expensive skills have higher added damage effectiveness modifiers.

Skills with lower added damage effectiveness (such as Rive) will have lower scaling with flat damage (though it’s still usually the best thing to get).

Apart from spells.

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Everything in LE has some base damage. Even Melee skills. It is just neglectable for this kind of discussion for the most part.

The amount of flat damage you get from items, passives and other sources heavily outweight skills base damage, even spells.

Yeah, but 25 versus 95 (Dragon Staff) or 122 (Gate Staff) is significantly better than 2 versus 115 (Deicide Lance), 140 (Eber Head), 130 (Bardiche) or 100 (Zweihander) & that’s ignoring the flat melee damage you can get from prefixes.

Hell, if you have a Dragon Staff equipped, the 25 base damage is almost 21% of your entire flat damage (though obviously the 95 from the staff will be modified by the skill’s added damage effectiveness), while a melee skill with 2 base damage & an Eber Head equipped is a paltry 1.4% (& a mere 1.05% if you have a t5 melee flat damage prefix). Are you really trying to say that that flat damage a spell gets is negligible?

Thanks both so much for the quick reply, it really did help a lot!

Ok, I guess the biggest misconception I had is that I didn’t know that the tooltip took ailments etc into account as well. That explains a lot. And I was under the impression that the DPS was a bad stat for those 2 skills as they’re cooldown skills, so thanks for confirming!

I see, but my understand was that +melee phys wouldn’t really affect erasing strike and void cleave at all… am I wrong in assuming this? I see no physical tag for them, even for lunge since I converted its damage to void with one of its passives. That’s why I thought the extra 65 melee damage on the axe would make quite the difference.

Would that matter for cooldown skills such as these two? They are the bulk of my build’s damage output.

Thanks again, I’ll check out the lastepochtools web site!

You are, it’s just not converted to void so isn’t affected by % void modifiers. Any % melee or % damage modifiers will still affect it.

Not as much, no though I’m less sure how well the tooltip is aware of that. The easiest way would be to find a random item (without any ailment chance on it, since that would scale very well with attack speed) & craft some attack speed on it & see how the tooltip is affected.

So, if I have a sword with, let’s say, +cold melee damage, and another item with + % increased cold damage, both these affixes would still affect all of my melee skills. It’s just that the “void” scaling tag on the tooltip is an additional scaling that happens besides the weapon affixes. It adds to the skill, I thought it was some sort of filter instead.
If that’s it… I feel stupid now, I’ve been throwing lots of good items away :smiley:

They would only affect your melee skills if those skills were cold-based. If you’re melee attacks were physical or void for instance then the increased cold damage would do nothing for them.

Sorry, doesn’t this contradict what Llama is saying? From what I could understand, they said that +melee phys damage and +% incr phys would still affect erasing strike and void cleave even though neither have a physical tag

No, what he said was
“You are, it’s just not converted to void so isn’t affected by % void modifiers. Any % melee or % damage modifiers will still affect it.”

Notice that he said “not converted to void so isn’t affected by % void modifiers” and “Any % melee or % damage modifiers will still affect it.”

What you added was the “cold” which is different than just “% melee” or anything of that nature. There is % melee damage and then there is % “specific damage type” melee damage.

Therefore % void damage would not affect your cold damage just as % cold would not affect you void damage.

I see, I didn’t mean that +% cold damage would affect my void damage, I guess what I mean in my example was that a + melee cold damage would affect my skill (even though it’s void based), and then +% increased cold damage would affect the cold portion of my damage, not anything else, and even though it wouldnt scale with void damage for the tag, it would still have “some” effect on them? As opposed to + melee cold damage not affecting those two void based skills at all.
If i’m still mistaken and that’s not that case, why would +melee phys damage affect erasing strike and void cleave?

A skill will consist of multiple damage types if you add them.

Your Erasign Strike and Void Cleave do Void damage baseline.

So +X Melee Damage (which is adaptive) will get converted to Void Melee Damage).
But you can add any otehr melee damage types on it, such as +X Melee Cold Damage.

Now your ES and VC would do a portion void damage and a portion cold damage.

%inc. void and %inc. cold would only affect the respective parts of the skill that to this damage type.

Ah nice one! That’s what I meant in my example. I think I’ve expressed myself badly.
Makes a lot of sense now, thank you everyone so much!

Unless the OP were getting flat cold damage from somewhere (& there are several sources, Mourning Frost boots & the Deicide set).

Not quite.

The tags on a skill determine what element untyped damage (such as the implicit on weapons) takes any “typed” damage (such as the flat melee phys on the Last Laugh, or the flat damage prefixes for weapons) keeps its element & is affected by any relevant % modifiers. So the +melee phys on the sword would be affected by any % damage, % melee damage & % cold damage modifiers you have. If the flat damage is converted by a skill or other modifier (& it has to explicitly state that it converts added damage as well as base) then it gets affected by the new modifiers, not the pre-conversion modifiers.

There is great Maxroll guide on the damage scaling in LE - Damage Calculations Explained - Last Epoch