Why Test (Version 1.2.0.0028)
I've been a long time fan of Barbarian and have been seeking information on how the Carnage mechanic works in Deadfire since release. Unfortunately, things were slow both here and on Reddit with limited interest (people consider Carnage a worthless ability, especially in light of Mob Stance prior to its nerf) and poor accessibility (limited HUD tooltip info). The only question that really got answered was whether the secondary Carnage attacks applied on-hit effects, and the answer was a resounding, "No, but Spirit
and Blood Frenzy on-hit effect buff does." That, and the fact that the resulting Raw damage does not care for Penetration, Graze, or Crit modifiers.
Fast forward to present day. With the help of the mod guide video kind of showing where to look, I've been able to look at the various status effect and attack object structures. So here's some general observations from what's been tucked away in the GameDataBundle files:
- Carnage damage does scale with Power Level. It's a meager +5% per PL, but it's better than nothing. Amusingly, since Carnage is itself PL 0, and you start at PL 1, you actually start with the bonus +5% to Carnage damage. Don't get excited, though, because this scaling value is applied after the 0.33 modifier.
- The 33% damage effect will check the weapon in your primary or off-hand as appropriate. It does not care about anything other than the weapon's Base Damage range. You don't get the accuracy bonus from weapon quality. There is a hidden PL accuracy bonus that can't be observed in the game's tooltips, as noted in the Power Level Compilation Thread.
- The AoE Carnage attacks (main and off-hand) that apply the 33% damage effect seem to use a static 0.33 value for damage that overrides the default ability damage scaling for effects (+10% per PL). This just means you can only rely on the +5% damage per PL after the 0.33 reduction.
So the question I had at this point was what influenced Base Weapon Damage? Does weapon quality factor at all? What about active abilities proc from passives, like One Stands Alone, or conditional passive bonuses like Wilder Hunter?
Thanks to a wonderful group of Assassin Vines, I've been able to get started on testing. Here are my observations thus far.
- Damage range for Carnage appears to use the following formula: (([Base Weapon Damage] * [Might Damage Bonus]) * 0.33)(1 + (.05 * PL)).
This was tested with a mod I made which increased the scaling damage bonus from PL so I could observe any small change to other values. Weapons used were of the same type, but different quality between them. Of course, quality had no effect on the damage result, and neither did One Stands Alone. I still have not tested sabre's Sharp weapon property or Wilder Hunter talent, though I suspect that Carnage damage will not check for creature type before applying itself. If anyone tests these before I do, that would be nice.
- Surprise! Might influences your Base Weapon Damage before it is shoved into Carnage's % damage calculation! This was tested by observing the damage range with and without Frenzy. Whether it's worth having high Might to maximize Carnage damage is another thing. Assuming you max it out, you're still looking at 10-15 Raw damage from 30 Might and 10 PL delivered via a Sword swing (Base 13-19).
- Finding the minimum and maximum damage possible is just a matter of using the minimum and maximum values under Base Weapon Damage range for the relevant weapon. For the most part, numbers stayed within the correct range, but was a little tricky to parse because damage values are not integers. Your damage range will include decimal values, but the hit point damage flying out of enemies on screen will round the value up.
In the GameDataBundle files, it appears that your off-hand weapon is ignored for base weapon damage and your main weapon is used instead. This isn't because they didn't put in an entry for your off-hand weapon. They did. It just doesn't get referenced at all, and thus the AoE attack and subsequent 33% damage status effect it would reference are also unused. It may be a mistake that the main weapon got referenced for both the main weapon on-hit event and the off-hand weapon on-hit event, or it could be a measure to prevent the game from breaking on something.
Area of Effect
As for Carnage AoE size, even with 21 Int, I struggled to hit more than 3 additional Assassin Vines at a time. Barbaric Blow's 50% increased Carnage AoE did not make a noticeable difference, though I guess that's fitting given the size of the base AoE (360 degrees; "Small"; 1.5 blast radius override). At the very least, if you get 3+ enemies clustered, Heart of Fury can apply a lot of extra damage via main and off-hand Carnage AoE.
There's nothing to really close this OP on. The goal wasn't to show whether Carnage was a viable mechanic or not but to clear up some of the mystery behind how it works. I'll leave some closing thoughts:
- Abilities like Barbaric Blow and Heart of Fury do not influence Carnage damage whatsoever. This, despite Barbaric Blow claiming it also increases the crit rate of Carnage. There's no benefit to doing so even if it worked that way. You ultimately use the abilities for the Full Attack abuse and maybe the increased Carnage AoE.
- For consistent, powerful basic attack applications,
dual wieldingwielding a spear, sword, or battle axe in your main hand will offer the best results (Base 13-19 damage).
- Might becomes slightly more relevant with big 2h weapons since it will modify a bigger value. Great sword, pike, and quarterstaff (Base 18-24 damage) will lead to a maximum Carnage damage range of 14-19 at 30 Might and 10 PL. From my testing, 2h Weapon talent doesn't modify Carnage damage and neither does the great sword modal.
- Two-weapon Full Attacks will apply a big sum-total Carnage damage with endgame abilities, such as Heart of Fury, but a max level Barbarian can swing Sanguine/Voidwheel with amazing impunity once the first enemy falls. This can result in a solid Carnage damage spike over the course of a combat encounter. The benefit of instant primary weapon recovery via Blood Thirst should not be underestimated. As of the recent testing in patch (1.2.0.0028) even the attack animation is canceled. It's seriously FAST.
- Completely unrelated to Carnage. You could forgo melee entirely if your goal is to dual Pistol/Blunderbuss Heart of Fury. Heart of Fury will fire at all enemies within range AND has the bonus of bypassing primary weapon reload (unlike Barbaric Blow). The downside is the ability cooldown, but you will still ultimately pump damage faster by just rushing the second Heart of Fury. Whether it's worth the 8 Rage is another matter.
EDIT: I saw an enemy get hit by the Carnage AoE triggered on them. They were moving fairly quickly (Terrified) and just ran into their own AoE. It was HILARIOUS.
Edited by UltimaLuminaire, Yesterday, 10:18 PM.