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Difference between melee damage and weapon damage

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:11 am
by shimion
Hi guys, so I have NEVER known the difference between "damage", and "weapon damage". I have done a load of Googling, and I still can't get an answer.

According to the tooltips...
Mortal Strike does "weapon damage", plus a flat amount.
Backstab is the same. It deals 150% "weapon damage", plus a flat amount.

But then you have abilities like Aimed Shot that are different. They increase "ranged damage" by 600.
Abilities like Shred deal 225% "melee damage", plus a flat amount.
Heroic Strike increases "melee damage" by a flat amount.

So what is the difference between "damage" (either ranged or melee), and "weapon" damage?

I would imagine that something like Mortal Strike, based on it doing "weapon damage", would take your weapon, look at the damage range, pick a number within that damage range at random, add the flat damage bonus, then deal that as its damage. But that means that Mortal Strike is unaffected by attack power, and is ONLY affected by weapon damage and crit. So does that mean a Mortal Strike done by a player with no armor at all will deal the same damage as a Mortal Strike done by a player with bis gear? (aside from the crit chance)

And subsequently, abilities like a Druid's Shred would scale a lot better, as they would take your entire damage as a whole, and not just weapon damage.

Am I missing something here? Because when it says "weapon damage" to me that means it does damage based on your weapon alone. And when it says something like "melee damage" to me that sounds like it does damage based on not just weapon damage, but also your attack power.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, because that is how I have always imagined the difference to be for the last decade. But surely that would make attack power kinda pointless for most classes aside from auto attacks.

Thank you :D

Re: Difference between melee damage and weapon damage

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:54 am
by Youfie
There is no difference.

As you said, "weapon damage" suggests that Backstab and Mortal Strike are unaffected by Attack Power. That was indeed the case on retail until patch 1.3. Then it was changed, and I guess the tooltips weren't updated.

Quote from patch 1.3 :
Ambush, Backstab, Ghostly Strike, and Riposte now properly increase the attack power contribution by the percent modifier. Our goal is to make the dagger-based Backstab/Ambush build a viable alternative to the sword/mace-based Sinister Strike build. As a side effect, fixing this bug also increased maximum critical Ambush damage beyond our intentions. After considering a variety of balance changes (including reducing the percent modifier or base damage of Ambush, or reducing the Improved Ambush talents) we decided to change the Lethality talent to no longer affect Ambush.

The Druid is another story, since you know in Cat they don't use their weapon damage range, they hit each second whatever happens for an amount influenced by your attack power + probably some flat amount, don't really know. But anyway that's different.

But basically it's just Blzzard who forgot to update tooltips after patch 1.3. Blizzard has always been quite inconsistent with tooltips not describing properly what a talent or ability exactly does (or too vaguely) throughout the game anyway in Vanilla ^_^.

Re: Difference between melee damage and weapon damage

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:59 pm
by shimion
nice. thanks for the reply.

So that obviously still makes slower weapons hit harder, as the abilities are instant, and thus do more damage per hit.

So all of the tooltips that say "melee damage" or "ranged damage" or "weapon damage" all mean the exact same thing -- a regular white hit.

So a backstab will do your regular white hit, increased to 150%, then with flat on.
Aimed shot does a regular white ranged hit, with 600 flat added on.

Thank you, again! Correct me if I am wrong, though.

Re: Difference between melee damage and weapon damage

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:24 pm
by Youfie
You got it right, at least for Backstab :).