# High DEX vs. Heavy Armor: How's the math?

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Hi everyone,

it's dumb math question time!

I was wondering how exactly the bonus to action speed from Dexterity is calculated?

I reckon it is a percentage but I don't get what the base number is to which it applies.

I also reckon heavy armor applies to a penalty to your action speed—but again, not sure what the base number is.

Additionally, how do the two interact?

e.g. base number 10, armor -20%, dexterity +10%

Do they offset each other prior to applying? I.e. (-20% +10% = -10%) so 10 * (1-10%) = 9

Do they apply one after the other? I.e. 10 * (1-20%) = 8 * (1+10%) = 8.8

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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I would also value such knowledge or knowledge of how to acquire such knowledge.

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Dex is a percentage based increase, and the base speed of an action depends on what you're doing. Different weapons have different speeds, for example. As do different spells.

Armor only has a penalty to recovery time, which is a period of time after an action where you're recovering and not doing anything. It doesn't directly affect action speed so you can still benefit from high dex while wearing heavy armor, though it doesn't work as well as high dex with light or no armor at all.

Every point of dexterity above 10 equals +3% action speed.

Only fighters have a way to reduce the penalty for wearing armor, which is a mid level talent. IIRC it's a 15% reduction on the recovery penalty.

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Oh, and here I though +X% action speed actually speeds up your actions by shortening the recovery time... Did this change at some point during the beta (I was out the loop for a good while due to reasons) or did I misundestand the whole thing from the get-go?

Is there a listing of those different base speeds and recovery times somewhere?

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I'm fairly sure that increased attack speed doesn't affect your recovery time, however, the base speed of an action does - the longer the action the longer you recover. But I might be completely wrong, since the system is a tad confusing.

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IIRC, it helps to think of it this way: Dexterity investment buys you faster actions, and thus less time between recoveries. Heavy armor extends recovery, costing you actions. Combining the two means your actions will be fast, but you generally won't be taking them often enough to really justify the points you could have spent on other attributes.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Here is a link to a very detailed thread on this issue from the "Characters builds, Strategies & the Unity Engine" section. Although I don't remember any spoiler in the thread, please note that it's part of a section that allows spoilers.

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Ah, there's the information I was looking for:

Fast weapons have an animation time of 20 frames

Everything else is 30 frames

There is a global recovery time multiplier of 1.2

default attack speed for 1H fast weapon is 20 frame animation, 36 frame recovery (50% slower due to 1H style or using a shield)

default attack speed for 1H average weapon or 2H weapon is 30 frame animation, 54 frame recovery (50% slower due to 1H style, 2H style or using a shield)

default attack speed for 2W fast weapons is 20 frame animation + 24 frame recovery + 20 frame animation + 24 frame recovery

default attack speed for 2W average weapons is 30 frame animation + 36 frame recovery + 30 frame animation + 36 frame recovery

Dexterity affects both animation speed and recovery time

Everything else only affects recovery time

So DEX bonus does affect Recovery Time.

According to this video, 2H weapons suffer from an additional +50% to recovery time so that would be 54 frames.

Armor and DEX apply to the base value, however, which is 36 frames. So, for example:

2H weapon (base 36 frames, +50% for 2H), +20% armor, -10% DEX would be:

36 + [36*50%=18] + [36*20%=7.2] - [36*10%=3.6] = 57.6 frames

All this because I'm studying the viability of a high DEX fighter

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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Dex is a percentage based increase, and the base speed of an action depends on what you're doing. Different weapons have different speeds, for example. As do different spells.

Armor only has a penalty to recovery time, which is a period of time after an action where you're recovering and not doing anything. It doesn't directly affect action speed so you can still benefit from high dex while wearing heavy armor, though it doesn't work as well as high dex with light or no armor at all.

Every point of dexterity above 10 equals +3% action speed.

Only fighters have a way to reduce the penalty for wearing armor, which is a mid level talent. IIRC it's a 15% reduction on the recovery penalty.

My thus-far heavy-armored archer thanks you for clarifying that.

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High dex is the build for DPS type of melee warrior. You need high might and high dex, that's the only way to go. Also maybe it's worth not using the strongest armor, and thus the slowest, depending on your play-style and specific context.

For the tank type of melee warrior you don't have to think of any damage (might) or frequency of attacks (dex). You just need high deflection (perception & resolve) to be able to withstand a huge amount of attacks. The strongest armor is a requirement in this case.

50% increase in recovery time is not only suffered by 2H style but also by SS and 1H. Only 2W style doesn't suffer from this.

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So, I read through the whole thing, and to summarize: so far no one knows for sure how exactly DEX affects attack speed, except that it doesn't seem to affect it quite as much as it should, and bows need a buff.

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I really wish that the game just told you your attack speed and recovery speed. You could put on or off a piece of armour or add to your dexterity and actually see what kind of difference it makes. In the old IE games you knew what your attack speed was

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I really wish that the game just told you your attack speed and recovery speed. You could put on or off a piece of armour or add to your dexterity and actually see what kind of difference it makes. In the old IE games you knew what your attack speed was

You should make a bug report of that.

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I really wish that the game just told you your attack speed and recovery speed. You could put on or off a piece of armour or add to your dexterity and actually see what kind of difference it makes. In the old IE games you knew what your attack speed was

I have thought the same thing many times while playing

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I really wish that the game just told you your attack speed and recovery speed. You could put on or off a piece of armour or add to your dexterity and actually see what kind of difference it makes. In the old IE games you knew what your attack speed was

You should make a bug report of that.

It was requested already in the beta and submitted as an issue (practically a bug report, except it's not actually a bug).

So.. yeah. The system being obtuse is by design. It is the same issue as damage and protection working in fractions yet only displaying a rounded number which can be incredibly deceptive because of modifiers.

It is a known "issue" and "working as designed".

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Oh, and here I though +X% action speed actually speeds up your actions by shortening the recovery time... Did this change at some point during the beta (I was out the loop for a good while due to reasons) or did I misundestand the whole thing from the get-go?

Is there a listing of those different base speeds and recovery times somewhere?

I tested it, and a naked dex 18 character's attack times are reduced ~17.5% when compared to a naked dex 10 character.

I haven't done armor testing yet.

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Ah, there's the information I was looking for:

Fast weapons have an animation time of 20 frames

Everything else is 30 frames

There is a global recovery time multiplier of 1.2

default attack speed for 1H fast weapon is 20 frame animation, 36 frame recovery (50% slower due to 1H style or using a shield)

default attack speed for 1H average weapon or 2H weapon is 30 frame animation, 54 frame recovery (50% slower due to 1H style, 2H style or using a shield)

default attack speed for 2W fast weapons is 20 frame animation + 24 frame recovery + 20 frame animation + 24 frame recovery

default attack speed for 2W average weapons is 30 frame animation + 36 frame recovery + 30 frame animation + 36 frame recovery

Dexterity affects both animation speed and recovery time

Everything else only affects recovery time

So DEX bonus does affect Recovery Time.

According to this video, 2H weapons suffer from an additional +50% to recovery time so that would be 54 frames.

Armor and DEX apply to the base value, however, which is 36 frames. So, for example:

2H weapon (base 36 frames, +50% for 2H), +20% armor, -10% DEX would be:

36 + [36*50%=18] + [36*20%=7.2] - [36*10%=3.6] = 57.6 frames

All this because I'm studying the viability of a high DEX fighter

My testing (which uses a frame-by-frame analysis, 30 frames per second) shows a 1h fast weapon (not dual-wielding) on a dex 10 naked character has an average total attack time of 58.5 frames.

1h average speed weapon (not dual wielding) on the same naked character has an average total attack time of 84.71 frames.

2h sword "slow" speed weapon on the same naked character had an average total attack time of 87.5 frames.

For the effect of dexterity, I'd use the magic number 2.25 since it matches closely with what we actually observe:

50 dex: 50 - 10 = 40 ==> 40 * 2.25 = 90 ==> 1 + 90 / 100 = 1.90 ==> 58.5 / 1.90 = 30.79 (29.8 observed)

18 dex: 18 - 10 =  8 ==>    8 * 2.25 = 18 ==> 1 + 18 / 100 = 1.18 ==> 58.5 / 1.18 = 49.58 (49.71 observed)

14 dex: 14 - 10 =  4 ==>    4 * 2.25 =   9 ==> 1 +   9 / 100 = 1.09 ==> 58.5 / 1.09 = 53.67 (53 observed)

So, for your character (naked... 14 dex?  You can't actually get a 10% dex bonus, so I assume you meant 12%):

2H weapon:  87.5 / 1.09 = 80.26 average total frames between attacks.

I haven't done armor testing yet.

Edited by Daemonjax
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So, for your character (naked... 14 dex?  You can't actually get a 10% dex bonus, so I assume you meant 12%):

2H weapon:  87.5 / 1.09 = 80.26 average total frames between attacks.

My 10% was purely academic; I was/am merely interested in understanding how the mechanics work and how DEX and armor affect recovery time.

More to the point, I am investigating whether high DEX can compensate at least to a large degree for the recovery penalty you get from heavy armor. The idea is to have a fighter in heavy armor that attacks either as fast as, or just slightly slower than, a character in light armor or naked.

How do you conduct your testing? It would be pretty rad to put together a chart where people can input DEX score, armor type, and weapon of choice and get their recovery time calculated (perhaps with a field to account for the talent that reduces recovery penalty)

Edited by AndreaColombo

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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How do you conduct your testing?

Combat vs first wolves with fighter npc tanking: I use a fraps recording locked to 30 seconds, and then use virtualdub to watch it frame by frame, taking notes using notepad++.

Then I put it together to look like this:

1h dagger (not dual-wielding, dex 10, human male, naked)

50 : Game is paused
51 : Game is NOT paused
-------------------------------
52 : Actor animations start playing
-------------------------------
56 : Attack animation_A begins ( 56 -  51 =  5 frame attack delay)
73 : Idle animation begins ( 73 -  56 = 17 frame attack animation_A length)
78 : Recovery bar is full       ( 78 -  73 =  5 frame recovery delay)
110: Recovery bar is empty (110 -  78 = 32 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (110 -  51 = 59 frames total

115: Attack animation_B begins (115 - 110 =  5 frame attack delay)
133: Idle animation begins (133 - 115 = 18 frame attack animation_B length)
137: Recovery bar is full (137 - 133 =  4 frame recovery delay)
168: Recovery bar is empty (168 - 137 = 31 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (168 - 110 = 58 frames total

173: Attack animation_A begins (173 - 168 =  5 frame attack delay)
190: Idle animation begins (190 - 173 = 17 frame attack animation_A length)
196: Recovery bar is full (196 - 190 =  6 frame recovery delay)
227: Recovery bar is empty (227 - 196 = 31 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (227 - 168 = 59 frames total

232: Attack animation_A begins (232 - 227 =  5 frame attack delay)
249: Idle animation begins (249 - 232 = 17 frame attack animation_A length)
255: Recovery bar is full (255 - 249 =  6 frame recovery delay)
286: Recovery bar is empty (286 - 255 = 31 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (286 - 227 = 59 frames total

291: Attack animation_A begins (291 - 286 =  5 frame attack delay)
308: Idle animation begins (308 - 291 = 17 frame attack animation_A length)
314: Recovery bar is full (314 - 308 =  6 frame recovery delay)
345: Recovery bar is empty (345 - 314 = 31 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (345 - 286 = 59 frames total

350: Attack animation_B begins (350 - 345 =  5 frame attack delay)
368: Idle animation begins (368 - 350 = 18 frame attack animation_B length)
372: Recovery bar is full (372 - 368 =  4 frame recovery delay)
403: Recovery bar is empty (403 - 372 = 31 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (403 - 345 = 58 frames total

408: Attack animation_A begins (408 - 403 =  5 frame attack delay)
425: Idle animation begins (425 - 408 = 17 frame attack animation_A length)
431: Recovery bar is full (431 - 425 =  6 frame recovery delay)
462: Recovery bar is empty (463 - 431 = 32 frame recovery length)
------------------------------- (462 - 403 = 59 frames total

462 - 51 =  411 Total frames
411 /  7 = 58.7 Average frames per attack

However, I would use (59 + 58) / 2 = 58.5 average frames per attack since there's probably a 50/50 chance of using either of the two attack animations.

It's as time-consuming as it sounds.  I can easily spend over 30 minutes looking at ~6 attacks frame by frame and getting the data.

Whatever I find goes in this thread: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/72272-combat-mechanics-attack-speed-recovery/

Edited by Daemonjax
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My sword dualwielding high dex fighter (in Normal) ended using heavy armor and perk to reduce penalty because sometimes enemies hate her, Edér cannot simply engage everybody,... Even with it, she's almost over 2k damage received compared to Edér (that guy has quite better defenses with the shield and all) so I don't want to think what the number would be using light/medium as in the very beginning. That said, I'm not unhappy.

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I really wish that the game just told you your attack speed and recovery speed. You could put on or off a piece of armour or add to your dexterity and actually see what kind of difference it makes. In the old IE games you knew what your attack speed was

You should make a bug report of that.

I am so doing this.

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• 2 weeks later...

Back on this topic, I have a question for either a dev or a tech-savvy forumer who could look this up in the code.

Since it involves one of the "cool items", I'll go with the spoiler tags just in case:

According to the Strategy Guide, the Animat Plate Armor has a 0% recovery penalty.

If I have my character wear it and my character has the talent that reduces armor recovery penalty by 16%, does that make me attack 16% faster? Or does the talent effectively become useless while wearing that particular plate?

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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Back on this topic, I have a question for either a dev or a tech-savvy forumer who could look this up in the code.

Since it involves one of the "cool items", I'll go with the spoiler tags just in case:

According to the Strategy Guide, the Animat Plate Armor has a 0% recovery penalty.

If I have my character wear it and my character has the talent that reduces armor recovery penalty by 16%, does that make me attack 16% faster? Or does the talent effectively become useless while wearing that particular plate?

Only way to know is to test it via frame by frame analysis.

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Back on this topic, I have a question for either a dev or a tech-savvy forumer who could look this up in the code.

Since it involves one of the "cool items", I'll go with the spoiler tags just in case:

According to the Strategy Guide, the Animat Plate Armor has a 0% recovery penalty.

If I have my character wear it and my character has the talent that reduces armor recovery penalty by 16%, does that make me attack 16% faster? Or does the talent effectively become useless while wearing that particular plate?

Only way to know is to test it via frame by frame analysis.

I'm not even clear that Animat Plate is an item that's actually accessible in game.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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